- The death toll of the Surfside building collapse has jumped to 86, officials said Saturday.
- Recovery efforts remain underway, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.
- Of those dead, 62 victims have been identified so far, Levine Cava said.
The death toll in the Surfside, Florida condominium that collapsed has risen to 86 amid ongoing recovery efforts, local officials said.
“The team has recovered additional victims since our last report so the total number now of confirmed deaths is 86,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said at a press conference on Saturday morning.
Officials on Wednesday shifted their efforts from rescue to recovery. Levine Cava said that 62 of the victims have been identified and 43 people still “potentially unaccounted for” at the site.
“It’s also important to note that we can only truly account for a missing person who is deceased once the identification is made,” Levine Cava said.
The Champlain Towers South Condo partially collapsed on June 24. The remaining part of the building was demolished on July 4 as authorities sought to avoid potential issues related to Tropical Strom Elsa.
Since the initial collapse, an inspection report from 2018 revealed that the building had “major structural damage” including “abundant” cracking. A resident filed a lawsuit in 2015 regarding the maintenance of the building.
Structural engineers have been at the scene of the collapse since July 5 to gather more information alongside emergency authorities, NPR reported. Scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology were also deployed to examine clues around the building’s breakdown and have made “significant progress,” Levine Cava said on July 9.
“They’ve now collected over 200 pieces of evidence and they recently deployed scientists from the physics measurement lab in Washington to assist with the analysis,” she said, according to the Miami Herald.
“Please pray for all of those who lost love ones and whose hearts are broken from this unspeakable tragedy,” Levine Canva said on Saturday.