SURFSIDE, Fla. — The death toll associated with the partial collapse last month of a 12-story condo building in Surfside has risen to 60, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Thursday.
“It’s officially two weeks since this unthinkable and unprecedented tragedy shook our community and the world,” the mayor said at a news briefing. “The number of confirmed deaths is now 60, with 35 victims identified and 34 next-of-kin notified.”
Crews searching the rubble for signs of people paused work briefly around 1:20 a.m. to observe a moment of silence around the same time the Champlain Towers South building partially collapsed on June 24.
“We have now officials transitioned from search and rescue (to) search and recovery,” Cava said. “We are working around the clock to recover victims and to bring closure to the families as fast as we possibly can.”
The mayor said 200 people have so far been accounted for since the partial collapse, while 80 others “are potentially unaccounted for.”
Officials launched search efforts shortly after the Champlain Towers South building fell. The painstaking search for survivors shifted to a recovery effort at midnight Wednesday after authorities said they had come to the agonizing conclusion that there was “no chance of life” in the rubble of the Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside.
When the decision was made to transition to recovery mode, “It took a little piece of the hearts of this community,” U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Thursday.
The cause of the collapse remains under investigation. At least six lawsuits have so far been filed by Champlain Towers families.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
©2021 Cox Media Group