Flat collapse: All but 2 . of the 97 victims found in the Surfside building collapse have been identified

Their efforts, apart from short weather and safety delays regarding dangerous and unstable conditions, were around the clock. It is now in its fourth week, and infections are still being determined.

On Saturday, officials reported another person who died in the collapse. 36-year-old Teresa Velasquez was pulled from the rubble on July 8, according to Miami-Dade police.

Police identified two more victims on Friday. 51-year-old Brad Cohen and 79-year-old Maria Popa were recovered on July 7 and July 9, respectively.

The death toll remains 97 and 95 victims have been identified so far.

Miami-Dade County said this week that, going forward, it will only report the number of victims that have been identified, “out of respect for the families still waiting and to ensure we are informed of the most accurate numbers possible.”

The collapse, which devastated the families and friends of the victims in the United States and abroad, alarmed homeowners and residents of other apartment buildings, worried that a similar situation could occur to them. Mourners continue to memorialize the “Wall of Hope,” a memorial to those lost at the gates of the building’s tennis court.

On-site and off-site investigators are looking for answers

Now entering the latter part of July, recovery teams continue to inspect what remains of the building. At least 22 million pounds of debris and concrete have been removed, according to Miami-Dade County.
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“At the site of the original collapse, we’re almost at the bottom,” Miami-Dade police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta told CNN Thursday. “Does this mean we’re about to finish the search? No. Until we’ve surveyed the entire site and haven’t found other human remains, we’re not done yet.”

“We’re almost done,” Zabaleta added.

While clean-up efforts may be nearing completion, identification of the causes of the collapse will continue for the foreseeable future.

One building engineer told CNN that his access to the site to investigate possible causes of the collapse was limited during the police investigation.

“Until they do their job, we can’t go do material samples and take those samples and test them to understand the different components of the building that fell,” structural engineer Allen Kilsheimer, who is hired by the town of Surfside, said in an interview with CNN’s Anna Cabrera on Friday. .

This week, Florida Attorney General Catherine Fernandez-Randel acknowledged the “multiple requests by engineers and lawyers” for access to the site.

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“Engineers from the Federal Agency for National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have been deployed to Surfside with congressional authority to gather evidence and determine how and why the South Champlain Tower collapsed. NIST is the fact-finding agency responsible for investigating building collapses such as The World Trade Center resembles the World Trade Center,” Randell said in a statement. Significantly investigate aircraft crashes.

“We cannot forget that the scene and all related material is still under investigation, preservation and active examination, and as usual, law enforcement authorities are responsible for the scene,” Randell noted.

“My understanding is that once the departments of NIST, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, and Miami-Dade Police have determined that it is safe and convenient for others to access the site, they will be allowed to do so under the guidelines set by these agencies,” Randell said.

Rosa Flores, Rebecca Reese, Laila Santiago, Claudia Dominguez and Tina Burnside contributed to this report.

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