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4 bodies found Friday in rubble of Surfside collapse, including firefighter's 7-year-old daughter

Death toll up to 22
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Posted at 11:34 PM, Jul 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 18:27:27-04

The Mayor of Miami-Dade County said Friday afternoon that two more victims were found by rescuers, bringing the death toll to 22.

In total, the bodies of four victims were found Friday by rescuers.

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Mayor Daniella Levine Cava added that 126 people who were presumed to be in the building at the time of the collapse are still missing.

Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez confirmed that one of the victims recovered overnight was the 7-year-old daughter of a Miami firefighter. Her name has not yet been released, pending the notification of next of kin.

"We ask that you respect the privacy of the immediate family as well as our Fire Department family while we grieve our loss and support our own,” Miami Fire Chief Joseph Zahralban said in a statement confirming the girl's death on Friday.

"I want to emphasize the emotion. We do what we do...it's a calling, but it still takes a toll," Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Alan Cominsky said during Friday's press conference.

Levine Cava said that the number of people who have been accounted for increased overnight to 188, a significant increase. She noted that several reports of "accounted for" persons had initially been filed as single people, but in actuality, represented multiple people.

Seventeen of the 22 people killed in the collapse have been identified. They are:

  • Hilda Noriega, 92
  • Antonio Lozano, 83
  • Leon Oliwkowicz, 80
  • Magaly Elena Delgado, 80
  • Gladys Lozano, 79
  • Christina Beatriz Elvira, 74
  • Frank Kleiman, 55
  • Staci Dawn Fang, 54
  • Manuel LaFont, 54
  • Marcus Joseph Guara, 52
  • Michael David Altman, 50
  • Anna Ortiz, 46
  • Anaely Rodriguez, 42
  • Luis Bermudez, 26
  • Andreas Giannitsopoulous, 21
  • Lucia Guara, 10
  • Emma Guara, 4

On Friday, Levine Cava said that an emergency order was signed to demolish the remaining part of the condo building once engineers have signed off on it.

She added that the order was signed now so demolition of the building can move quickly once a date is scheduled for it to be demoed.

First responders have not pulled any survivors from the rubble since the morning of the collapse last Thursday.

Friday's press conference came a day after officials paused rescue efforts amid concerns of further collapse of the still-standing structure.

Officials added that on Friday, FEMA confirmed that President Joe Biden had approved 100% reimbursement for Surfside condo collapse emergency costs from June 24 through July 24.

Levine Cava said Thursday that officials are weighing a plan to demolish the still-standing portion of a collapsed condo tower after structural concerns caused a brief pause in search-and-rescue efforts.

"Our team of engineers is doing ongoing testing and evaluation as we work to expand the search area as quickly as possible as it becomes safe to do so," Levine Cava said. "We're proceeding with planning for the likely demolition of the building while the search and rescue continue as our top priority."

The Associated Press reports that officials with FEMA are exploring several options for demolition. Officials are also weighing how much demolition would slow rescue efforts.

First responders are also eyeing weather reports as Hurricane Elsa gains strength in the Atlantic Ocean. The National Hurricane Center currently forecasts that much of the Florida peninsula — including Surfside — is in the storm's "cone of uncertainty."

The NHC says Florida is at risk of "storm surge, wind and rainfall impacts" from Elsa "early next week" but adds that the forecast could change depending on the system's movements this weekend.

Cominsky added that there are engineering teams in place that will track Elsa and prepare for the hurricane-force winds that could cause further collapse to the structure.