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A month after Florida building collapse, recovery mission nears end

  • Published at 07:05 am July 25th, 2021
Florida
Rescue workers are seen after the managed demolition of the remaining part of Champlain Towers South complex as search-and-rescue efforts continue in Surfside, Florida, US, on Tuesday, July 6, 2021 Reuters

Authorities have identified 97 bodies but believe one victim is still missing

The search for victims of the Florida apartment building collapse a month ago Saturday is drawing to a close, as rescue teams halted work at the site of the disaster that killed at least 97 people.

"It's hard to believe that a month has now passed since perhaps the greatest tragedy in our community's history," Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said on Twitter on Saturday.

"While the site of the collapse was confined to the size of just one block in a close-knit city, its reverberation has been felt far beyond our county, touching lives all over the world," she added in a video posted on social media.

Rescue workers ended their search on Friday for victims at the site of the Champlain Towers South, a 12-story beachfront building that partially collapsed overnight on June 24.

With the exception of a teenager who was rescued in the first hours after the collapse, rescuers were unable to save any of the building's residents who had not escaped, and announced on July 7 that they were abandoning the search for survivors.

After the removal of thousands of tons of rubble, all that remains of the building north of Miami beach are a few foundation walls. 

Authorities have identified 97 bodies, but believe one victim is still missing, Levine Cava said this week. 

Miami-Dade police continue to search for the 98th victim at the site where the building debris was deposited.

While the exact reason for the collapse remains unknown, preliminary findings have shown some of the building's structure appeared degraded.

The rest of the building was brought down in a controlled explosion July 4 to allow for the recovery operation to continue.

A memorial honoring the victims may be built on the site of the disaster, officials said last week.   

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