The three-week search for victims of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South apartment in Surfside is coming to an end, but efforts to identify the remains found in the rubble continue.
The toll is now on 95 identified bodies, after Miami-Dade County Police Tweeted the name of the latest victim, Theresa Velasquez, 36, whose body was recovered on July 8. Two people are still missing and 241 have been counted.
🎬📺 Free Movies and Free TV Shows! 🎭🎬
Challenges remain as search teams try to recover every victim, including water that floods the parking garage’s “bathtub” that continues to leak and crack, Surfside mayor Charles Burkett said. The Miami Herald.
The numbers fluctuated over the weeks as the system for reporting dead and missing persons changed. On Tuesday, the death toll was reported at 95, due to the recovery of another body from the rubble.
But officials now only use the number of victims identified in the official toll. “Right now it is difficult,” said Miami-Dade police spokesman Carlos Rosario. “There are human remains that are being identified… it’s a scientific process and we don’t want to name a wrong number. We have taken a step back.”
Miami-Dade police identified two more victims Friday: Maria Popa, 79, who was recovered from the rubble on July 9, and Brad Cohen, 51, who was recovered on July 7.
Popa’s husband, 82-year-old Mihai Radulescu, was identified on Thursday. The couple owned Unit 404. Cohen’s brother, Gary, who was visiting the Alabama orthopedic surgeon, was identified on July 8.
Amid recovery efforts, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the federal agency investigating the collapse, released an update to its probe on Friday.
NIST is using remote sensing technology called lidar, drones and time-lapse cameras to aid the research. At least 200 pieces of rubble, including columns, beams and pieces of concrete, have been marked as evidence.
Investigators are also studying the “sister” apartment, Champlain Towers North, as they try to understand why Champlain Towers South collapsed around 1:30 a.m. on June 24. They have installed sensors on the building to measure vibrations.
As the investigation continues, an effort to start the sales process of the property was called back amid backlash.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman began the trial earlier in the week, hoping the sale of the site, valued at more than $100 million, would bring in more money for the survivors and the victims’ families. But in a hearing Friday, he withdrew a quick sale, saying he had heard from some in the community who wanted to reserve the site for a memorial or redeveloped it for the survivors to live in.
“Some people want it sold and the proceeds distributed immediately, others want to rebuild the property,” said Michael Goldberg, a court-appointed attorney for the homeowners association. Local 10 News reported. “And some believe that this is sacred ground and that it should be a memorial forever.”
Hanzman said that “all competing interests will be considered before a decision is made.”
“We are very concerned about how the trial will go,” Oren Cytrynbaum, who owned Unit 905 alongside another, Unit 906, which belonged to his family from Canada, told the Herald. Those apartments were located in the front half of the building, which remained standing after the collapse but was later demolished by Miami-Dade County.
Cytrynbaum, himself a lawyer, said there are two groups of people, owners of condominiums in Champlain and injured or deceased victims, who need to be reconciled: it is “very difficult to separate them” because “we know it will be unfair.” “.
🎬📺 Free Movies and Free TV Shows! 🎭🎬