SURFSIDE, FLA. (WSVN) - Family members and friends of those who are missing after the partial collapse of a condo building in Surfside expressed frustration at the slow pace of search-and-rescue operations.
Among those waiting to hear word on his friends on Monday is Joseph Tanami.
“After all these hours, days, it’s only 10 [people confirmed dead],” he said.
7News cameras captured Tanami as he appeared to be speaking with a police officer.
When asked what he would like to see happen at this point, Tanami replied, “Find them, find these people. I want to see them alive, but even a body, something moving, you know? There’s a lot of people under there.”
As of Monday night, 150 people remain unaccounted for. They are believed to be underneath a massive pile of concrete and debris that was once part of Champlain Towers South condo.
“We have people waiting and waiting and waiting for news,” Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said. “They’re learning that some of their loved ones will come out as body parts. I mean, this is the kind of information that is just excruciating.”
One father hugged a Miami-Dade Police officer moments after he learned his son’s body was found among the rubble.
Families gathered again for a briefing from officials, a day after they were given the opportunity to visit the site for the first time since the collapse. The pain of that visit was visible as they returned.
“We came to provide psychological and emotional stabilization for the families,” a member of Israel’s Urban Search and Rescue team said. “They’re not alone, and they’re not helpless still.”
Lizbeth Schonfeld said she is searching for four people who were in the condo at the time of collapse: Andreas Levine, Nicole Langsfeld, Luis Sadovnic and her cousin’s son, Moises Rodan.
“He went to [University of Florida] to study,” Schonfeld said. “He just graduated two weeks ago. The family was here, his parents. He just came last week to start a new job that he got.”
Cassondra Stratton, Michael Stratton’s wife, remains missing. He said he was on the phone with her when the tower collapsed and described the horrific moments to a Colorado news station.
“She described that the building was shaking, and then, the phone went dead,” Stratton said.
A few blocks away, a memorial for the victims continues to grow.
Meanwhile, loved ones and a shaken community desperately hold on to hope.
“[The best thing to do] is to really pray and hope for the best,” said Tanami.
Officials have moved their briefing location for families to the Sea View Hotel, at 9909 Collins Ave., in Bal Harbour. Officials said they will give family members information first before they release it to reporters.
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