SURFSIDE, FLA. (WSVN) - Miami-Dade County’s mayor has confirmed a 12th death due to the Surfside condo collapse, and hundreds remain unaccounted for as rescuers continue their search for survivors in the rubble.
As of 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, the death toll has increased to 12.
“Since our last briefing, very unfortunately, one additional victim was recovered,” Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.
Miami-Dade Police have identified all 12 victims as:
- 54-year-old Stacie Fang
- 54-year-old Manuel Lafont
- 83-year-old Antonio Lozano
- 79-year-old Gladys Lozano
- 80-year-old Leon Oliwkowicz
- 26-year-old Luis Bermudez
- 46-year-old Anna Ortiz
- 74-year-old Christina Beatriz Elvira
- 55-year-old Frank Kleiman
- 52-year-old Marcus Guara
- 50-year-old Michael Altman
- 92-year-old Hilda Noriega
Fire rescue crews continue to uncover the rubble in hopes of finding more surviving victims. There are 149 people still unaccounted for, and 125 have been accounted for.
Earlier Tuesday morning, it was announced President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden will be visiting Surfside on Thursday.
“He’s going to spend time with the families who were affected and our first responders,” Levine Cava said. “We’ve had his support since he called me day one in the morning, and this is so critical that we do have our federal support.”
Firefighters faced challenges overnight as debris fell from a section of the building that remains standing.
“They had to put a line, a ‘don’t go beyond’ line out,” said Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett. “Right now we have the maximum effort on a more eastward area of the pile of debris.”
Burkett said progress is being made.
“They’re going at it 100%. They’ve got an immense amount of search and rescue on the mound,” he said. “They’ve made progress moving the debris that I think they sorted out over to the east. It just continues.”
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Alan Cominsky said more than 3 million pounds of concrete have been moved so far.
“I can’t emphasize enough the dangers we are encountering,” Cominsky said.
Rescuers could be seen on newly-released video shoveling debris into buckets by using their hands and cutting through rebar with saws.
“I think our rescue workers are so inspired to find people,” Levine Cava said. “Please pray for them.”
“The times I’ve been going up on the pile and you find strollers and baby bottles, stuffed toys, you know? I mean, it just brings a sense of reality to the moment,” a Florida Task Force 1 member said. “We’re here hoping for that one miracle.”
One rescuer who appeared to be dehydrated had to be taken to the hospital but is said to be OK.
Capt. Eddy Alarcon, who is part of Florida Task Force 1, explained how difficult the search in the rubble has been for rescuers.
“I think the hardest part is the first day that we got here and just seeing how devastating everything was,” Alarcon said. “We’re all trained to kind of maintain our composure and do our jobs the way we’re supposed to, but — man, I’m sorry, I’ve been working on very little sleep right now, and it’s hard not to get emotional about this stuff.”
“It’s hard not to put yourself in that situation, not to put yourself in the position that these families are in,” Alarcon added. “We start thinking about it in that way, and ‘What would I do? How hard are we going to work to save our family members if something like this were to happen?'”
Some of the debris from the site has been loaded onto trucks and escorted off-site by police.
Meanwhile, Levine Cava announced a grand jury investigation into the collapse is in the works.
“I was speaking to the state attorney this morning about it, and we were talking about whenever it is moving forward, that we will be fully on board,” Levine Cava said.
One property in Northeast Miami-Dade that has not yet completed the 40-year certification process was ordered to close four balconies due to safety conditions on Monday.
“Last night, our building officer notified one of those properties, a building in Northeast Dade, that four balconies must be immediately closed to residents due to safety conditions,” said Levine Cava.
Those who have missing loved ones should visit the Family Reunification Center, at 9301 Collins Ave., or call 305-614-1819.
Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.