July 11 (UPI) — The death toll in last months condominium tower collapse in Surfside, Fla., has risen to 90 officials said Sunday.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced at a press conference Sunday morning that four bodies were discovered since the last briefing from officials Saturday night and that a total of 217 people have been accounted for and 31 others remain “potentially unaccounted for” for a total of 121 listed as dead or unaccounted for. At one time, the figure was 163 from the collapse that occurred June 24.
Freddy Ramirez, Miami-Dade’s police director said of the 31 unaccounted for, 26 have case numbers, indicating officials are confident they were in the tower at Champlain Towers South when it collapsed and did not escape.
“There are five that have no support system behind them,” said Ramirez. “We’re not sure if they’re missing people or not, because no one is reporting them.”
Miami-Dade Fire Chief Alan Cominsky said Sunday that crews had begun to reach cars that were in the parking lot of the tower as they continued search efforts.
On Saturday, the Israeli Urban Search and Rescue Task Force ended its deployment after assisting Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and other international search and rescue teams in the search efforts.
Officials thanked the Israeli team in a ceremony Saturday night, where Cava presented the members with the key to the county.
“In recognition of your unrelenting dedication, compassionate service commitment to the victims and survivors of the Surfside tragedy,” she said.
Cominsky also made the Israeli team official members of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie gave them patches honoring their service.
Teams searching for and recovering bodies on Saturday were able to access portions of the rubble they were previously unable to reach, leading to the discovery of additional bodies.
Officials on Wednesday transitioned search efforts at the site from rescue to recovery as Cava said officials had “truly exhausted every option available to us in the search and rescue mission” with no signs of survivors apparent nearly two weeks after the collapse.