According to Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, the last person missing in the collapse of the Surfside apartment complex in Florida has been found and identified, bringing the death toll Reached 98 people.
The victim’s brother told the Associated Press that the authorities finally confirmed the remains of 54-year-old Estelle Hedeya. Levine Cava said that a total of 242 people are now counted.
“Although we have identified all of the victims that were reported missing, the Miami-Dade Police Department continues the ongoing search and recovery effort on the evidentiary pile to ensure that all identifiable human remains are recovered,” Levine Cava said during a press briefing Monday.
The chief of the Miami-Dade Police Department, Alfredo Ramírez, said that human remains have been found at the “secondary site” of the collapse. The rest of the apartment building was demolished three weeks ago. Located there.
“We’re recovering human remains and will continue to process them […],” Ramirez said. “We’re still working on the evidence piles, and will continue until we deem that we’ve done everything we can.”
Firefighters finished searching for their bodies on Friday, and a pile of debris was almost completely removed from the crash site. Officers from the Miami-Dade Police Department stayed to complete the search for remains and personal belongings.
“Nothing we can say or do will bring back these 98 angels who left behind grieving families, beloved friends, and loved ones across this community and across the world,” Levine Cava said. “But we have done everything possible to bring closure to the families. I am especially proud that through these tireless efforts, we were able, at last, to bring closure to all those who reported missing loved ones.”
The news was released more than a month after the sudden collapse of the 12-story Champlain Tanan. After the authorities stated that the probability of finding a living person was “near zero,” first responders conducted an emotional and tireless search, shifting from rescue to recovery.
The search team spent weeks battling the dangers of debris, including the effects of inclement weather that sometimes paralyzed their work. In the end, they removed more than 14,000 tons of concrete and debris from the site.
As the search neared its end, the authorities focused on supporting the victims and their families affected by the collapse. This includes providing resources through the Family Assistance Center, which provides mental health counseling, financial and housing assistance, and other important services.
Last week, a judge ruled that victims and families affected by the collapse will initially receive at least $150 million in compensation. The compensation will include the insurance of the Champlain Towers South building and the expected proceeds from the sale of the site where the apartment building was once.
Although the exact cause of the collapse is not yet known, a 2018 report showed signs of major structural damage to the 40-year-old building, cracks in the underground parking lot, and waterproofing problems under the swimming pool.
Recent reports also show that Florida repealed a law requiring apartment buildings to undergo maintenance plans in 2010, which may also be the cause of the collapse.