Remaining portion of Surfside condo to be demolished Sunday; rescue efforts temporarily suspended

Death toll rises to 24
Building Collapse Miami Surfside
Posted at 10:36 AM, Jul 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-03 23:47:37-04

SURFSIDE, Fla. — On Saturday, Governor DeSantis and Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cara said that an emergency order had been signed to demolish the remaining part of the Surfside condominium.

The remaining portion of the building will be demolished on Sunday, July 4, 2021.

Rescue efforts at the site were temporarily suspended at 4 p.m. Saturday as officials prepare to demolish the portion of the building that's still standing.

Levine Cara said the search and rescue operations will resume immediately after receiving the all-clear from engineers.

She said two additional bodies were located in the rubble overnight Friday into Saturday, bringing the death toll to 24.

191 people are accounted for and 121 people remain unaccounted for in the collapse.

Eighteen of the 24 people killed in the collapse have been identified. They are:

  • Hilda Noriega, 92
  • Antonio Lozano, 83
  • Leon Oliwkowicz, 80
  • Magaly Elena Delgado, 80
  • Gladys Lozano, 79
  • Christina Beatriz Elvira, 74
  • Maria Obias-Bonnefoy, 69
  • Frank Kleiman, 55
  • Staci Dawn Fang, 54
  • Manuel LaFont, 54
  • Marcus Joseph Guara, 52
  • Michael David Altman, 50
  • Anna Ortiz, 46
  • Anaely Rodriguez, 42
  • Luis Bermudez, 26
  • Andreas Giannitsopoulous, 21
  • Lucia Guara, 10
  • Emma Guara, 4

Mayor Levine Cara met with Governor DeSantis on Friday along with a panel of experts and made the decision to bring down the remaining portion of the building as quickly as possible due to the approach of Tropical Storm Elsa.

"We said yesterday that we were concerned that the storm force winds, tropical force winds could affect the stability of this building," Levine Cara said. "Naturally, if we can bring this building down safely in the footprint that we can predict, that has maximum safety for our firefighters on the mound as well as to preserve the area that they are continuing to search and rescue, that is our very best path forward."

"The fear was that (Elsa) may take the building down for us and take it down in the wrong direction," Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said.

"At the end of the day, that building is too unsafe to let people go back in," DeSantis said. "I know there's a lot of people who were able to get out, fortunately, who have things there. We're very sensitive to that, but I don't think there's any way you can let somebody go up in that building given the shape that it's in now."