SURFSIDE, Fla. — The death toll associated with the June 24 partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside has risen to 32, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Tuesday.
“Through the team’s ongoing efforts, we have recovered four additional victims,” Cava said at a news conference. “The number of confirmed deaths is now 32, with 26 of those identified.”
Officials continue working to verify reports of people who have yet to be accounted for following the collapse. Cava said 191 people have been accounted for, while 113 are “potentially unaccounted for.” Previously, authorities said the numbers were likely to fluctuate as detectives identified duplicate reports and other discrepancies.
“Many (reports) were originally submitted incomplete, so we may only have a name without an apartment number, without a date of birth or other details,” Cava said. “Of that 113, only around 70 of those are people we have been able to confirm were in fact in the building during the collapse.”
Crews have searched the rubble of the building nearly nonstop since it first occurred in the early morning hours of June 24. Search efforts were paused briefly overnight due to nearby lightning strikes, as officials braced for possible heavy winds and rain brought by Tropical Storm Elsa.
The storm, which is expected to impact Florida through Wednesday, was about 55 miles west of Key West on Tuesday morning, according to officials with the National Hurricane Center.
At the site of the collapsed building Tuesday morning, power saws and backhoes could be heard as workers in yellow helmets and blue jumpsuits sifted through the rubble for a 13th day. Stiff winds of 20 mph (32 kph) with stronger gusts blew through the area as gray clouds from Elsa’s outer bands swirled above.
No one has been rescued alive since the first hours after the collapse, but rescuers were still holding out hope of reuniting loved ones.
“We continue to remain focused on our primary mission, and that is to leave no stone unturned and to find as many people as we can and to help bring either some answers to family and loved ones or to bring some closure to them,” City of Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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