memorial mural

Artist Kyle Holbrook paints a mural July 14, 2021, in Surfside, in memory of the victims of the Champlain Towers South building collapse.

roof

A partial roof collapse at a three-story building last Thursday in Miami forced an evacuation of its residents; no injuries were reported. 

Efforts to recover the dead from the debris of Surfside's condo collapse are nearing an end as the catastrophe continues to raise alarm and focused scrutiny on other older residential buildings.

Two high-rises in Miami-Dade County have been evacuated over structural concerns, and last Thursday residents were evacuated after a partial roof collapse at the three-story Lake View Garden Condominium off NW 68th Avenue and NW 179th Street. No one was injured.

Helicopter footage from WSVN showed that a long section of roof overhang had fallen off one side of the complex to the ground below. The roof didn’t appear to have collapsed into any units. Fire rescue spokesperson Erika Benitez confirmed that the damage was limited to the building’s exterior.

On the site of the high-rise collapse, Miami-Dade police identified six more victims, meaning that 92 of the 97 confirmed dead have been identified. County officials have accounted for at least 240 people connected to the building, with just a few still classified as missing, or “potentially unaccounted for.”

debris truck

A worker waits to load his truck with debris from the rubble of the Champlain Towers South building July 14, 2021.

A county statement late last week said the task of identifying victims had become increasingly difficult, relying heavily on the medical examiner’s office and expert technical and scientific work. More than 26 million pounds of debris and concrete have been removed as recovery work continues.

A judge approved the sale of the oceanfront property last week with proceeds intended to benefit victims of the deadly disaster. At a hearing, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman ordered that the process begin to sell the site of Champlain Towers South, which could fetch $100 million to $110 million, according to court records.

The judge also approved returning $2.4 million in deposits that some Champlain condo owners had made toward an assessment to pay for $15 million in planned major repairs.

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