SURFSIDE, Floride – The wait has been excruciatingly agonizing for the families of the victims of a building collapse in the town of Surfside, Miami-Dade County. On Saturday, Governor Ron DeSantis met them at the Grand Beach Hotel Surfside.
Their nightmare began after the north section of the 12-story Champlain South Towers collapsed at 8777 Collins Ave., and they couldn’t reach their loved ones. The search and rescue operation was delicate.
The teams worked at night, in the rain, and even at the risk of spontaneous fires. Officials said they are doing their best to provide the hotel with regular updates. However, some relatives lose patience.
“It’s not enough,” a distraught mother told DeSantis. “Imagine if your kids were in there. You are going to leave here and you are going to take a nice picture. I know you are doing all you can, but it is not enough.
Magally Ramsey’s mother, Magally Delgado, 80, was among 156 missing on Saturday night. She lived on the 9th floor.
“It’s really hard for some families to hear this because people want to start figuring out where these victims are, regardless of the outcome,” Ramsey said.
She said she had not given up hope.
“This is not necessarily the logical result. Right? So that won’t be the logical outcome, ”Ramsey said. It’ll be a miracle, but I’m a woman of faith, so I believe in miracles, so you know I still have hope.
The Miami-Dade Police Department released the identity of four of five people who officials say died after the building collapsed on Saturday evening. Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said there were still 156 people missing.
The death toll will continue to rise. Search and rescue teams found bodies and human remains in the rubble on Saturday, and the medical examiner’s office had yet to identify them when police made the announcement.
Stacie Dawn Fang was the first identified victim. The 54-year-old mother lived in apartment 1002. Search and rescue personnel pulled her out of the rubble early Thursday morning, but she died on the way to Aventura Hospital and Medical Center.
Fang’s 15-year-old son Jonah Handler survived. Rescuers pulled him out of the rubble early Thursday morning after a neighbor heard him scream and saw his hand stick out of a rift in the dark.
Antonio Lozano, 83, and Gladys Lozano, 79, lived in apartment 903. Search and rescue personnel recovered the body of Antonio Lozano on Thursday and that of Gladys Lozano on Friday.
Manuel “Manny” LaFont was a 54-year-old father of two who lived in apartment 804. Search and rescue personnel recovered his body on Friday.
The city welcomes those awaiting information on missing loved ones at the Grand Beach Hotel Surfside at 9449 Collins Ave. Levine Cava said there were two daily briefings for relatives.
For more information or to report the status of a loved one missing, call 305-614-1819 or 305-993-1071.
Coverage on Saturday
Coverage on Friday
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