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Miami condo collapse news summary: Monday 28 June

Rescue workers continue to search through rubble at the site of a collapsed building in Surfside, Florida, north of Miami Beach on June 27, 2021. - The death toll after the collapse of a Florida apartment tower has risen to nine, officials said Sunday, wi


-NEW: Why did the building collapse? What we know so far.

-Experts begin to way in on what may have been the "failure point" of the collapse. (Full details)

- Search and rescue efforts continue following the collapse on Thursday of the Champlain Towers South apartment block in Surfside, Miami-Dade County, Florida

- Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announces that another body has been recovered, with 11 people now confirmed to have died in the disaster

- At least 151 people are still missing, while 135 have been accounted for

- The fire in the debris that was hampering rescue efforts has now been controlled, allowing rescue operations to take place across the site

- Champlain Towers South's sister building has been evacuated

- The causes of the building's sudden collapse remain unclear

Related news articles:

Where will those impacted by the Surfside Condo Collapse be housed?

A CBS affiliate reports that a "Miami-based hospitality company is offering free temporary shelter for victims of the Surfside condo collapse." The company was putting the finishing touches on a new building when the disaster occurred and soon will open its doors to house some of the victims of the disaster.

The CEO of Sextant Stays,  Andreas King-Geovanis, 31, said that after his team saw the news Thursday they knew they had to "jump on this," because they "were in the position to have this entire building done fast." For King-Geovanis, giving those who were impacted by the collapse a place where they can be surrounded by their neighbors was really important. In an interview the entrepreneur said, "There are going to be neighbors who recognize each other, which is really special. They’re just going to be surrounded by other people who were in the south tower. It’s a much better space for people to recover the entire month."

The Miami Police Department has a hotline for businesses that wish to donate food to the victims of the Surfside Condo Collapse.

Some families who have relatives trapped under the rubble are becoming increasingly frustrated by the slow pace first responders are working. This is an extremely difficult process for them, as the hours since the collapse surpass 100, and the likelihood of survival dwindles.

The New York Times reports that one of the jobs of first responders is "to preserve at least some of the belongings of the people who had lived in the tower." With so much destroyed in the disaster and with the weight of knowing families are waiting for answers, responders have described the task as "daunting."

To help families understand exactly what the process looks like officials began bringing them to the site on Saturday and Sunday, "to see, close up, an emergency response involving hundreds of rescue personnel."

How are the first responders working to find more possible survivors?

On Monday 28 June, an ABC affiliate reports that first responders "used bucket brigades and heavy machinery." There are concerns for the safety of those still searching as they are surrounded by "pulverized concrete, twisted steel and the remnants of dozens of households."

BREAKING: Miami Mayor Daniella Levine Cava states at a press conference that responders have found another victim, bring the death toll to 11, saying "in total the number of people accounted for now stands at 136, with 150 unaccounted for."

What are the chances those stuck under the rubble can survive?

Jake Tapper of CNN reports on how long the victims of the Surfside condo collapse can survive. Today, 28 June,the death toll rose to ten but over 150 people remain missing. Tom Foreman says that it is not "impossible" that those stuck are still alive, but as time goes on it becomes more "improbable"

Why did the Miami Surfside building collapse? Inspection reports differ


Why did the Miami Surfside building collapse? Inspection reports differ

Why did the Miami Surfside building collapse?

Surfside city official told Champlain Towers housing association board that building was in “good shape” contradicting evaluation performed a month earlier.

As the death toll rise to ten, media outlets around the country take time to remember those who were killed in the disaster.

Were their any warnings that the Surfside condo was going to collapse?

More details on the state of the condo's structural integrity continue to be released. Miami Herald reports on photos taken by a contractor sent to inspect the poor, who said that what he saw was "not normal."


What has the Biden administration said about the Surfside condo collapse?

Today, 28 June, Press Secretary answered questions over the Biden's thoughts on an investigation into what happened. She said the President is in support.

What was the failure point in Miami condo collapse and why according to the investigations?


What was the failure point in Miami condo collapse and why according to the investigations?

What was the failure point in Miami condo collapse? Why did it collapse now, according to investigators?

The world has watched in shock as first responders continue their search for over 100 people after fifty five of a 136 unit condo collapsed last Thursday. Families, friends, and the Surfside community are desperate for more news after more hours and days pass with the numbers of those missing basically unchanged.

The condo, built in 1981, was up for its state-law required 40-year recertification. Earlier inspections had shown that in order to pass, repairs would be needed, after a 2020 report found that the building had been sinking at an alarming rate since the 1990s. 

Now, as first responders risk their lives continuing the search on unsteady ground, experts are focusing on a spot in the lowest part of the complex as the initial point that set off the “progressive collapse.”

Read our full coverage to learn more about what investigators have been able to uncover so far.

Friends and allies lend support after horrific building collapse in Florida

US Senator from Florida, Marco Rubio tweets that Israel is sending five units to Surfside to assist first responders who are searching for those still missing after the collapse.

Washington Post releases more video taken by a resident during the Surfside-Miami Condo Collapse. Moshe Candiotti, who captured the images, is counting his blessings he was able to make it out safely after 55 of 136 units came crashing down late last week.


A block of concrete is lowered as rescue workers continue to search through rubble at the site of the collapsed Champlain Towers South apartment building in Surfside, Florida.


Biden supports Surfside collapse investigation - Psaki

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has told a press briefing that President Joe Biden supports an investigation into the collapse of the Champlain Towers South apartment block in Surfside, Florida.

"Certainly, we want to play any constructive role we can play with federal resources in getting to the bottom of it and preventing it from happening in the future,” Psaki said.


A woman prays in front of photos at the makeshift memorial for the victims of the Champlain Towers South building collapse in Surfside, Florida.


NIST to send team to Surfside

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has told the Florida media outlet Local 10 News that it is to send a team of scientists and engineers to the site of the Surfside building collapse “to collect firsthand information” and “determine if an investigation or study will be conducted” by the body.

“If a National Construction Safety Team (or NCST) is established, we expect that an investigation will take months to years to complete,” NIST told Local 10 News. “Previous investigations have taken at least two years to complete.”

“This morning we did recover another body”

Here is what Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told reporters a few moments ago as she announced that the death toll from Thursday’s partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South apartment block has now risen to 10.

“This morning we did recover another body,” Levine Cava said. “That brings the count to 10. The total number of those accounted for his now 135, and the total unaccounted [is] 151.”

“Our detectives are working in real time right now to audit this list,” Levine Cava said, adding: “I want to stress as we have from the beginning: these numbers are very fluid and they will continue to change.”

Confirmed death toll rises to 10

"Probable cause" to believe there are issues with apartment block's sister building - Surfside mayor

The mayor of Surfside, Charles Burkett, says there is reason to believe there are problems with Champlain Towers South’s sister building, Champlain Towers North, admitting: “I wouldn’t sleep there.”

"I think there is probable cause to believe we could have a problem at the sister building because it is the same design, same developer, and all of the fingerprints are there," he told CNN.

Burkett said on Sunday that the residents of Champlain Towers North were being evacuated on a voluntary basis.



Search and rescue teams look for possible survivors in the partially collapsed Champlain Towers South building in Surfside, Florida, on Monday.

(Photo by Giorgio VIERA / AFP)

Therapy dogs comfort families of the missing in Miami building collapse

Some families of the missing at the Miami-area building collapse have found comfort in therapy dogs brought in during the agonizing wait for news.

With some 150 people unaccounted for, many of whom could be buried beneath the rubble, the Boricuas de Corazon disaster relief team brought in a pair of four-legged friends: Tal, a 7-year-old Akbash weighing 130 pounds (59 kg), and Molley, a 1-year-old Walker Coonhound.

The dogs could help victims process their emotions, said Linda Perez, president of Boricuas de Corazon, a nonprofit group dedicated to helping disaster victims. Boricua is a nickname for Puerto Ricans, and the group offers service in English and Spanish.

So far the dogs have linked up with at least four families from Argentina, another from Paraguay, and others who came in from Houston, Perez told Reuters.


Florida town official said building was safe despite warning

A town inspector had assured residents of a high-rise condominium in Surfside, Florida, that their building was sound a month after an engineering report warned of major structural damage that required prompt repair in 2018, U.S. media reported.

The Champlain Towers South building partially collapsed in the early hours of Thursday as residents slept.

The death toll stood at nine on Sunday and more than 150 people were missing as rescue teams picked through the rubble without detecting signs of life.

What caused nearly half the 12-story, 156-unit building to cave in has yet to be determined but a 2018 inspection found major structural deterioration in the parking garage beneath the 40-year-old tower, accordingly to an engineer's report.

But later an inspector for Surfside, which is near Miami, met residents of the building in 2018 and assured them it was "in very good shape", according to the minutes of a November 2018 meeting reported first by NPR and then by several other U.S. media outlets.

Families to visit site

CNN - Families of the victims of the Champlain Towers South collapse who were unable to make it to the site visit yesterday will be bused over Monday, according to officials. 

Maggie Castro, spokeswoman with Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue, told CNN the families will be bused from the family reunification center at 2:00 pm ET. 

About 200 visited the site yesterday, Castro told CNN Monday. 

“There was a “combination of emotions,” he said. “We all process things differently, for some it was a better understanding of what we’re dealing with. For others it was closure.”

Surfside commissioner speaks

When asked whether she believed that some other buildings in the Surfside area were unsafe, commissioner Eliana Salzhauer said she believed "there were a number factors that contributed to the perfect storm that made this building come down. I don't know if those factors exist in another building."

See more of the interview in the video below...

Miami Herald front page this Monday moring

"Tool rises as families' frustration grows": The Surfside disaster naturally dominates the front page of the Miami Herald this Monday morning....

Remembering those that have been lost

A devoted father who spent his days on the baseball field with his young son.

Manuel LaFont, 54, was a business consultant who also coached Little League and spent many days on the baseball field with his 10-year-old son.

The father of two, known as Manny, was devoted to helping kids become better players, according to Danny Berry, who runs the Miami Beach Youth Baseball League, where LaFont coached.

Berry said the league would be meeting on Monday to decide on the best way to commemorate LaFont and help his children.

"We want to dedicate something to him, a batting cage or something," Berry said.

LaFont's ex-wife, Adriana, confirmed his death on Facebook, writing, “So many memories inside the walls that are no more today, forever engraved experiences in the heart! My Manny, who was my partner for so many years, father of my children, who scolds me and loves me at the same time.”

	A woman gets emotional on the seashore, as she approaches the nearby area of the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building on June 27, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. Photo: AFP

Here are the names of the eight of nine victims so far identified following the disaster:

Stacie Fang (54)

Antonio Lozano (83)

Gladys Lozano (79)

Manuel LaFont (54)

Leon Oliwkowicz (80)

Luis Bermudez  (26)

Anna Ortiz (46)

Christina Beatriz Elvira (74)

DNA testing being used to determine the identity of the ninth victim.

Better Business Bureau warns of fraudulent charities following building collapse

The Better Business Bureau is warning those who may want to donate money to help families affected by the Champlain Towers, to be aware of fradulant charities.

The BBB advice is to search for established charities that meets its standards for charity accountability. It warns fraudulent fundraising could emerge in the wake of the disaster.

If making donations to a crowdfunding campaign -- the bureau recommends paying attention to the posting in to order to make sure the funds will be used for specific purposes.

CNN early morning review of the latest from Miami as rescue workers continue the search with 150 people still missing...

Owners in condo building were about to start paying $9m in repairs

Owners of condo units in the Surfside building that collapsed were just days away from starting to make payments towards $9m in major repairs, reports AP.

The owners were looking at payments between $80,000 for a one-bedroom unit to around $330,000 for a penthouse, which could be paid at once or in installments. The deadline for the first payment was 1 July.

“I figured I would pay it off after they fixed the building. I didn’t want to pay it off before because you never know,” one resident whose apartment was spared, Adalberto Aguero, told AP, adding that he cancelled "everything" related to his $80,000 payment the day after Thursday's collapse.

Survivors report shaking during construction on nearby building

Eliana Salzhauer, one of three town commissioners for Surfside, Florida, said Sunday night that survivors of the Champlain Towers South collapse had told her that they felt shaking during construction on a building close by in recent years.

Family members of some those still people missing also told CNN their family members had been worried about shaking from the nearby building construction.


Mother and disabled son latest victims to be idenitified

A mother and her disabled son, along with an elderly husband and wife, have become the latest victims of the Surfside building collapse to be officially identified by authorities.

They are a mother Ana Oritz, 46, and her son Luis Bermudez, 26, who suffered from muscular dystrophy and was unable to walk. Also identified were Leon Oliwkowicz, 80, and his wife Christina Elvira, 74.

These four bodies were recovered on Sunday, bringing the official death toll to nine so far.

It sounded like thunder, and my wife and I, we went out on the balcony; it looked like a bomb had exploded. When we opened the door, there was no building there, it was just a pile of rubble"

Resident and eyewitness Barry Cohen, told the BBC

DeSantis thanks rescue workers

In his latest tweet about the incident late on Sunday night, Flordia governor Ron DeSantis thanked the rescue workers working round the clock at the scene of the Surfside disaster, hailing those involved in the rescue operation as heroes.

"Since minutes after the building collapsed, first responders have worked around the clock to find survivors in Surfside. These are the heroes — @FLCaseyDeSantis and I thank them," he tweeted.


Florida town official said building was safe despite warning

A month after an engineering report warned of "major structural damage" that required prompt repair in 2018, a Surfside, Florida, official assured residents of Champlain Towers South that their building was sound, U.S. media reported.

The death toll from the partial collapse of a high-rise condominium complex near Miami rose to nine on Sunday, with more than 150 people missing, as rescue teams picked through the rubble for a fourth day without detecting signs of life. What caused nearly half the 12-story, 156-unit building to cave in during the early hours of Thursday as residents slept has yet to be determined but a 2018 inspection found major structural deterioration in the parking garage beneath the 40-year-old tower, accordingly to an engineer's report.

But later a Surfside town inspector met residents of the building in 2018 and assured them the building was "in very good shape", according to the minutes of a November 2018 meeting reported first by NPR and then by several other US media outlets.

The inspector's comments directly conflicted with the engineering report from five weeks earlier, which warned that failed waterproofing in a concrete structural slab needed to be replaced "in the near future."

At the 15 November, 2018, board meeting of the Champlain Tower South Condominium Association, a building official from the town of Surfside, Ross Prieto, appeared to discuss that report, NPR reported. "Structural engineer report was reviewed by Mr Prieto," the meeting minutes cited by NPR said. "It appears the building is in very good shape."

Prieto is no longer employed by Surfside, according to NPR. He told the Miami Herald newspaper that he did not remember getting that report. Reuters was not immediately able to contact Prieto. The newly released 2018 report showed that an engineer found evidence of major structural damage beneath the pool deck and "concrete deterioration" in the underground parking garage of the 12-story oceanfront condominium, three years before it collapsed on Thursday. (Reuters)

Families visit disaster site on Sunday

Families of those still missing were finally allowed to visit the site of the disaster on Sunday to pray and mourn for their loved ones while the rescue workers continued to search through the rubble.

Biden says "heart is with" Surfside community

President Joe Biden expressed his sympathy for the Surfside community and confirmed that his administration was ready to provide assistance to Florida governor Ronald DeSantis to help with the search and rescue operation in his latest tweet posted on Sunday evening.

"My heart is with the community of Surfside as they grieve their lost loved ones and wait anxiously as search and rescue efforts continue," said Biden. "Yesterday I spoke with Gov. DeSantis to let him know that we are ready to provide assistance as needed by state and local officials."

A unique search and rescue on Surfside

The tragic collapse of Champlain Towers South condominium presents Miami-Dade Fire Rescue with search and rescue difficulties as multilayered as the rubble that used to be 12 floors of apartments and a lobby. 

“This is the most complex situation we’ve ever encountered,” MDFR Assistant Fire Chief Ray Jadallah told family, friends and loved ones of victims during the Saturday afternoon update filmed by Instagram user abigailpereiraok.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue has an international accreditation that few departments possess. Their rescue workers get sent to disasters elsewhere. But the department now faces a unique mix of issues that vary from many other calamities.

Read more

Possible failure point in Miami condo collapse identified 

Although in the early stages of the investigation, experts who have examined video footage of the condominium in Surfside, Florida are focusing on a spot in the lowest part of the complex. The initial failure possibly in or below the underground parking garage might explain the structural collapse that has led to nine confirmed deaths with over 150 still unaccounted for.

Dogs provide support to families waiting for news about their loved ones

Boricuas de Corazon, a nonprofit group dedicated to helping disaster victims, has brought in two therapy dogs to help families of the missing at the Surfside, Florida building collapse find comfort.  

"They can feel the dog, they can be able to have that contact with their eyes. It's very neat. Animals are absorbing everything emotional that they are feeling at the same time and they can be able to be very relaxing for them," said Linda Perez, president of Boricuas de Corazon.

Live updates on Surfside building collapse: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the search and rescue efforts in Surfside, Miami-Dade County, following the collapse of a residential building in the Florida town on Thursday.

Five people have now been confirmed dead in the tragedy. A further 156 people remain unaccounted for, with 130 now accounted for.


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