Miami, Jul 7 (EFE).- The number of confirmed deaths from the partial collapse of a 12-story residential building north of Miami Beach on June 24 has increased to 46, the Miami-Dade County mayor said Wednesday.
“As the magnitude of this catastrophe continues to grow each and every day since the collapse, our community and the world are grieving with all of the families who are living through this unthinkable tragedy,” Daniella Levine Cava said.
Ninety-four people remain unaccounted for, while authorities have been able to determine that 200 others thought to have been in the 40-year-old building at the time of collapse are alive and well.
Nearly 200 first responders continued Wednesday to search through the rubble of the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside.
The pace of the operation has quickened following Sunday’s controlled demolition of the portion of the structure that was left standing after the collapse.
Eighteen bodies have been found since the wee hours of Monday despite periods of wind and rain caused by Tropical Storm Elsa as it made its way north up Florida’s west coast.
The mayor said that 32 of the 46 fatalities have been identified and their families notified.
So far, only three people have been pulled alive from the wreckage, all of them within hours of the collapse. Miami-Dade Fire Chief Alan Cominsky said Wednesday that teams have seen nothing to indicate that anyone else survived.
Calling the first responders “superheroes,” Levine Cava thanked them again for their efforts while celebrating that none of them has suffered serious injury in the course of the search.
Efforts to determine the cause of the disaster will “continue over a long period of time,” the Miami-Dade County mayor said earlier this week.
Within days of the partial collapse, the Surfside municipal government published a 2018 report from engineering consultants documenting structural problems at Champlain Towers South.
An attorney representing the homeowners association said that repairs to address those problems were set to begin later this year.