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Death toll from Miami condo collapse surges to 86 as 43 still remain ‘unaccounted for’


The death toll from the Miami condo collapse reached 86 on Saturday, as workers recovered the bodies of seven new victims overnight. 

Another 43 people still remain ‘unaccounted for’ – 17 days after the 13-story Champlain Towers South apartment block crumbled. 

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava stated that 62 of the victims have so far been identified.  

Meanwhile, there are now also fears survivors and first responders could develop cancer due to potentially hazardous dust floating in the area. 

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett told local reporters that ‘huge amount’ of dust had been kicked up in the area on Saturday, despite heavy rainfall overnight. 

Air samples collected by Local 10 News show ‘hazardous air quality’ in and around the debris. 

According to the website, ‘materials [from the site] released into the air… can lead to cancer and respiratory disease’, as happened to hundreds of survivors and first responders following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  

‘We will probably never know everything we’ve been exposed to out there,’ Billy McAlister, the  president of Metropolitan Dade County Local 1403 Firefighters old Local 10. 

The death toll from the Miami condo collapse reached 86 on Saturday, as workers recovered the bodies of seven new victims overnight. There are now also fears survivors and first responders could develop cancer due to potentially hazardous dust floating in the area. A man is seen covering his face as he makes his way to the recovery site on Saturday 

Dust is seen floating through the air as rescue workers remove debris overnight

Dust is seen floating through the air as rescue workers remove debris overnight 

A rescue worker is seen scouring the rubble wearing protective glasses and an oxygen mask amid cancer fears

 A rescue worker is seen scouring the rubble wearing protective glasses and an oxygen mask amid cancer fears 

A worker wearing a P100 mask is seen among the rubble searching for remains of 43 people who are 'unaccounted for'

A worker wearing a P100 mask is seen among the rubble searching for remains of 43 people who are ‘unaccounted for’

The death toll from the Miami condo collapse reached 86 on Saturday, as workers recovered the bodies of seven new victims overnight

The death toll from the Miami condo collapse reached 86 on Saturday, as workers recovered the bodies of seven new victims overnight

McAlister said he and his team had been in contact with medical experts who run the World Trade Center Respiratory Health Initiative to try and employ tactics to mitigate exposure to hazardous air. 

First responders are required to wear P100 masks, but recovery shifts can stretch on for 12 hours at a time, meaning there’s no telling the true levels of exposure. 

‘It is the unknown. We don’t know what we don’t know,’ McAllister stated. 

However, he praised the efforts of his team, stating: ‘That is our job. We have to be there.’ 

Mayor Levine Cava also praised the workers, stating: ‘We know that there will be long-term impacts for the teams on the front line’

They have given so much of themselves in these first two weeks.’

Miami-Dade Fire Chief Alan Cominsky said taking care of the mental health and well-being of the first responders is a priority. He said it is critical that the first responders communicate with each other. 

‘It’s important for us to talk,’ he said.

Elsewhere on Saturday, crushed cars which were parked in and around the Surfside condo complex  were taken away to be impounded. 

Several of the vehicles were completely destroyed and were still strewn with rubble. 

Elsewhere on Saturday, crushed cars which were parked in and around the Surfside condo complex were taken away to be impounded

Elsewhere on Saturday, crushed cars which were parked in and around the Surfside condo complex were taken away to be impounded

Several of the vehicles were completely destroyed and were still strewn with rubble

At a Saturday press conference, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava stated that 62 of the victims have so far been identified

At a Saturday press conference, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava stated that 62 of the victims have so far been identified

Rescuers are seen searching through the debris on June 27. The death toll is now at 86

Rescuers are seen searching through the debris on June 27. The death toll is now at 86

Authorities are launching a grand jury investigation into the collapse. And at least six lawsuits have been filed by families.

Footage shot by a prospective buyer showed cracks and puddles in the Surfside condo building in Miami a year before it collapsed.

The video, which was shared with DailyMail.com, was taken in the garage of the Champlain Towers South building in July last year. 

Fiorella Terenzi, who had toured the complex in anticipation of buying a unit on the sixth floor, said what she saw in the garage ultimately turned her off buying in the building.

Terenzi’s video showed wide cracks in the ceiling of the garage that appeared to have been repaired and painted over. 

It also showed what appeared to be water puddles in the ceiling. 

The video was taken by prospective buyer Fiorella Terenzi in the garage of the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside in July last year

The video was taken by prospective buyer Fiorella Terenzi in the garage of the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside in July last year

Several engineers reviewed Terenzi’s video and determined there were no obvious red flags that could have pointed to the building collapsing some 12 months later, according to the Miami Herald.  

The parking garage that Terenzi filmed is the same one in which an engineer flagged in a 2018 report as having ‘major structural damage’ to the pool deck area and underground parking garage. 

The engineering report from the firm of Morabito Consultants did not warn of imminent danger from the damage.

It did, however, note the need for extensive and costly repairs to fix the systemic issues with Champlain Towers South.   

Investigators, who have been at the site since the building collapsed on June 24, are still working to determine how it collapsed.

It has previously been suggested that existing damage to a ground-floor pool deck and, or, concrete cracking throughout the building could potentially be behind the collapse. 

Structural engineers have warned, however, that the investigation into the cause will be long-term given they have been limited so far because the rescue operation is ongoing.

Terenzi, who had toured the complex in anticipation of buying a unit on the sixth floor, said what she saw in the garage ultimately turned her off buying in the building

Terenzi, who had toured the complex in anticipation of buying a unit on the sixth floor, said what she saw in the garage ultimately turned her off buying in the building

Terenzi's video showed wide cracks in the ceiling of the garage that appeared to have been repaired and painted over

Terenzi’s video showed wide cracks in the ceiling of the garage that appeared to have been repaired and painted over

It also showed what appeared to be water puddles in the ceiling

It also showed what appeared to be water puddles in the ceiling



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