UPDATED 6:35 PM PT – Tuesday, July 13, 2021
The death toll has continued to rise in the Surfside, Florida condo building collapse while the efforts of rescue crews have faced setbacks. Authorities in Florida announced a staggering increase in the death toll, which now stands at 94 people.
This comes after crews recovered four more bodies in the rubble on Monday. Officials reported more than 20 people still remain unaccounted for as crews continue search and recovery efforts.
At least 83 victims have been identified, but authorities say the process of identifying them has become more difficult as time goes on. The daughter of a Long Island woman killed in the collapse said the heartbreak is indescribable.
Officials announced search teams have been recovering victims quicker since the rest of the building was demolished. Experts looking into the collapse stated a multitude of things could have caused the collapse as they continued efforts to eliminate the possibilities one at a time.
The tragedy in Surfside has changed Florida & the country. The stories of the individuals lost are heartbreaking & the impact is being felt around Florida & the world. It is going to be tough as we recover but we will be standing with the Surfside community every step of the way. pic.twitter.com/qT638m918G
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) July 10, 2021
“Once we understand the trigger, we can be looking at how other things in the building, if they weren’t done perfectly in either design or construction, how they might have impacted it,” explained structural engineer Allyn Kilsheimer. “Maybe something, if it would have been imperfect, part of the building wouldn’t have come down. Maybe it didn’t make any difference at all.”
Since the collapse last month, several Miami area buildings have been evacuated out of abundance of caution. Officials cited possible structural weaknesses and the county has launched a review of all high-rises over five stories.
Officials expressed gratitude for response teams around the world as well as teams from around the country who have assisted in what Levine-Cava calls “the largest ever non-hurricane emergency response effort” in the state’s history. Cava also credited the diligent work of investigators in verifying all reports of those unaccounted for and working with the families to open missing persons reports.
Officials are planning to tighten security at the site in the coming weeks to ensure only authorized personnel are allowed in the area amid the ongoing investigation.