SURFSIDE, Fla. — Crews searching for victims of last month’s partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo building have recovered another body, raising the death toll to 95, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Tuesday.
“Through the ongoing search and recovery efforts, our teams have recovered an additional victim,” she said at a news briefing.
So far, 85 of the deceased have been identified, the mayor said, adding that it has become more difficult to identify victims as more time passes since the June 24 collapse.
“At this step in the recovery process we’re relying heavily on the work of the Medical Examiner’s Office,” Cava said. “It’s a scientific, methodical process to identify human remains.”
Authorities have accounted for 238 people associated with the condo building, while 14 remained potentially missing as of Tuesday.
“That list of 14 includes 12 where missing persons reports have been filed with the police department, and two other reports that our detectives are continuing to try to verify,” Cava said.
The 12-story Champlain Towers South partially collapsed in the pre-dawn hours of June 24, as many of the building’s residents were sleeping. Authorities said 55 of the building’s 136 units collapsed during the incident.
Crews have searched for signs of victims nearly nonstop since first responding to the incident before 2 a.m. on June 24. Efforts have been paused several times due to inclement weather, and once to allow for the demolition of the part of the building left standing as a tropical storm approached the region. In recent days, crews have worked to pump water from the lower levels of the site as heavy rains hampered the search for victims.
As of Tuesday morning, officials have removed 18 million pounds of concrete and debris from the site, Cava said.
The cause of the building collapse remains under investigation.
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