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Death Toll at 5, More Remains ID'd in Surfside

Number unaccounted for dropped to 156 Saturday, mayor said
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 27, 2021 5:29 AM CDT

(Newser) – Rescue crews found another body in the rubble of a collapsed 12-story condominium tower near Miami on Saturday, raising the death toll to five as they raced to recover any survivors while fighting back fire and smoke deep inside the concrete and metal remains. Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced the heightened toll at an evening news briefing, saying the identification of three bodies had dropped the number of unaccounted for down to 156, per the AP. She said crews also discovered other unspecified human remains. Officials said the remains they find are being sent to the medical examiner, and they are also gathering DNA samples from family members to help identify them. Separately, a video posted online showed an official briefing families of missing loved ones.

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When he said they had found remains among the rubble, people began sobbing. FEMA officials have joined local and state authorities at the site, Gov. DeSantis said. He added a nearby “sister building” of the collapsed tower is also being looked at because it was built at the same time and with the same designer. Late Saturday, Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said that a city official had led a cursory review of the nearby Champlain Towers North and Champlain Towers East buildings. Burkett had said earlier he was working on a plan to temporarily relocate residents of the Champlain Towers North, which was constructed the same year and sits about 100 yards away from the collapsed building, and that FEMA has agreed to pay for lodging. The mayor said he didn't plan to order residents to evacuate, but if he lived there, “I’d be gone.”
(Read more Florida condo collapse stories.)

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