Death toll from Miami condo collapse reaches 64

The bodies of four more people were recovered from the wreckage of the Miami apartment block that partially collapsed on 24 June, bringing the confirmed death toll to 64, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said yesterday on the fifteenth day of rescue operations at the site. 

Two hundred people affected by the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside have now been accounted for, leaving 76 who have not.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) began a full technical investigation of the collapse on 30 June to determine its cause, using LIDAR to scan the rubble heap and drones to collect aerial images.

Mayor Levine Cava said NIST researchers had, as of yesterday, tagged 182 items for evidence from the collapsed portion of the tower and 32 items from the standing remnant that was brought down by controlled explosions on 4 July. 

NIST’s investigation could lead to recommended changes to building codes in Florida, where, it notes, there are millions of high-rise condominium units, many of them ageing structures near the ocean. 

NIST urges anyone with pictures or video of the collapse to submit them for evidence at its disaster data portal.

Image: First responders and victims’ families visited the site yesterday to remember those lost (Miami-Dade Police Department)

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