U.S.

22 dead; firefighter’s daughter among victims

SURFSIDE, Fla. — Crews looking for survivors in the rubble of a condo that collapsed outside Miami last week found more bodies on Friday, raising the number of confirmed deaths to 22 as 126 people remain missing.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said she has signed off on the demolition of the part of the building that remains standing because it poses a threat to public health and safety, but that there is not yet a date for the demolition. The top priority remain search and rescue, she said.

Earlier in the day, officials announced the 7-year-old daughter of a Miami firefighter was among the bodies found overnight.

“This tragedy has haunted so many of us because so many of us know someone who was in the building or affected by this tragedy,” Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said Friday at a news conference. “Now, not only do we know someone, but this is someone who is a member of our family, of our fire family.”

The father was not involved in the recovery process, but he voluntarily joined the search, officials said, hoping he could help find his daughter and others still missing in the wreckage. The Miami Herald reported the father kept vigil for eight nights after his daughter’s home collapsed into the rubble.

Cava called the night “uniquely difficult” for first responders.

“Please keep all of them in your thoughts and prayers,” she said. “They truly represent the very best in all of us and we need to be there for them as they are there for us.”

‘It would take a miracle’Victims’ families, survivors lose hope as rescue efforts stall 

More:Remembering those who died in the condo building collapse in Surfside, Florida

Meanwhile, rescue and recovery teams are closely monitoring Hurricane Elsa as officials warn the area may see tropical storm force winds as early as midday Sunday.

Here’s what we know Friday:

Engineers race to evaluate demolition options

Engineers were evaluating options Friday for demolishing the remaining portion of Champlain Towers South after concerns about its stability pushed officials to temporarily suspend rescue efforts Thursday.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Friday officials have had “a couple of meetings” with engineers, who are “meeting regularly” to determine what the process would look like.



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