Families get answers, Surfside community mourns those lost in condo collapse – CBS Miami

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SURFSIDE (CBSMiami / CNN) – As the Surfside community mourns those it lost and more families get answers, search teams approach the bottom of the rubble pile in the Champlain Towers collapse South.

“Does that mean we’re almost done with the search?” No. Until we clear the whole site and find no more human remains, we are not done, ”Miami-Dade Police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta said late last week. .

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Part of the condo collapsed in the wee hours of June 24, with many residents asleep.

Immediately, teams went to the scene to search the rubble for the victims, stopping only for the dangerous weather conditions and when the remains of the building were demolished.

Even after experts said there was no longer any hope of locating survivors, officials promised families that work would not stop until all the remains were collected.

Now that the promise has been kept for most families, the end of the research marks the beginning of a new phase of mourning.

Nicole Ortiz said the agony of waiting to learn of her sister and nephew’s fate was indescribable.

“I screamed,” she said. “I almost passed out. I cried.

But now many families have answers.

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The community is now mourning Vishal and Bhavna Patel and their 1 year old daughter Aishani. Ilan Naibryf’s family say goodbye to a young man they say made an impact everywhere he went.

Sergio Lozano faces the loss of his two parents, Antonio and Gladys.

“They died together,” Lozano said. “It’s not fair to be crushed, to be destroyed. It is not fair.”

The death toll stands at 97 and 95 of them have been identified.

For those who survived, it’s about picking up the pieces after an almost miraculous survival.

Iliana Monteagudo recalled the moment she saw the cracks running along her walls and the sound of the house she had dreamed of for 40 years crashing around her as she escaped up the stairs.

“Something inside of me said to run,” Monteagudo said. “You have to run to save your life. “

Neighbors 4 Neighbors has created a fund to help families affected by the collapse as well as to help feed first responders. To contribute, call Voisins 4 Voisins at (305) 597-4404 or go to neighbors4neighbors.org/surfsidefund.

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(© 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company, contributed to this report.)


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