Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava confirmed on Thursday the discovery of another ten bodies in the rubble of the building collapsed in Surfside two weeks ago, bringing the death toll to 64.
In addition, the official specified that another 76 people are still missing. Detectives work closely with crime scene personnel and the medical examiner to identify victims and notify family members as soon as possible.
“Every victim we recover is treated with extreme care and compassion,” said Levine Cava. The mayor revealed that 35 victims have already been identified.
Rescue teams look after personal items found in the rubble, such as wallets, jewellery, and electronics, and victims’ families can file lost items for recovery.
Before entering a new phase of the work at the site, the rescue bodies honoured the victims with a minute of silence interrupted by prayers, sobs and tears from those present. From now on, efforts will be focused on trying to recover the remains of the victims.
“We made the extremely difficult decision to go from search and rescue to recovery,” said Levine Cava in a brittle and visibly affected tone of voice.
“Our hearts break for those who are in mourning and for those who are still waiting,” said Daniella Levine Cava, while giving the daily report on the rescue efforts and the new death toll.
“Our commitment to this mission is deeply personal. This is our community, they are our neighbours and our families. And our first responders have really searched that pile (of debris) every day since the collapse as if they were looking for their own loved ones, ”she added, visibly excited, before breaking apart towards the end of the part.
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