Surfside Condo Collapse: Search & Rescue Operations Continue, While Keeping Eye On Elsa; Death Toll At 22, 126 Remain Unaccounted

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The round-the-clock search for survivors continued overnight into Saturday at the Champlain Towers South collapse, while officials continued to monitor Hurricane Elsa through the Caribbean.

The death toll is 22, with 126 unaccounted for.

READ MORE: Tracking The Tropics: Hurricane Elsa Weakens Slightly As It Barrels Through Caribbean Toward Florida

On Friday afternoon, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said two additional victims had been recovered. She also said 126 remain unaccounted for.

Search and rescue crews at the site of the Surfside partially collapsed condo spent another 24 hours searching for signs of life.

Everyone keeping an eye on Hurricane Elsa and the impact it could have on the search efforts and the uncollapsed portion of the building.

On Friday, the mayor signed an executive order to demolish the rest of the unstable structure.

“It will take at least a couple of weeks for engineers to determine the best way to bring down the building,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava Friday.

“It’s important to note that we’re still evaluating all possible impacts and determining the best timeline to actually begin the demolition. Signing the order now is important so that it can help us move quickly,” she added. “The building poses a threat to public health and safety and bringing it down as quickly as possible is critical to protect our community.”

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said he would like to see demolition happen sooner than later.

“We have a potential hurricane that could blow that building in the wrong direction. It could create a mess of immense proportions” said Burkett.
Those who have been recovered from the rubble and identified are Stacie Dawn Fang, 54; Antonio Lozano, 83 and Gladys Lozano, 79; Manuel LaFont, 54; Leon Oliwkowicz, 80; Christina Beatriz Elvira, 74; Frank Kleiman, 55; Michael David Altman, 50; Hilda Noriega, 92; Andreas Giannitsopoulos, 21; Anna Ortiz, 46, her son Luis Bermudez, 26; Anaely Rodriguez, 42; Marcus Guara, their children 10-year old Lucia Guara and four-year-old Emma Guara, Magaly Delgado, 80, Bonnie Epstein, 56, Claudio Bonnefoy, 85, Maira Obias-Bonnefoy, 69, and a 7-year-old who the family did not want to identify.

READ MORE: City Of North Miami Beach Orders Immediate Closure, Evacuation Of 156-Unit Condo

After search operations at the site were halted for most of the day on Thursday due to safety concerns about the building that is still standing at the site, plans are being made to demolish it.

For 10 days straight, search and rescue teams have been climbing on the rubble, sifting through concrete and metal.

Firefighters remain optimistic:


Drilling through the layers of cement, tirelessly, searching for signs of life.

“Don’t lose hope we will continue until we get to the bottom of that rubble,” said Juan Mestas, Operations Chief for Miami Beach Fire Department.

“There is a very good chance that we could injure anyone who is still underneath. So, the work is tedious and very time-consuming. That why you see the buckets out there just taking one rock at a time.”

Mestas has responded to disasters around the world, including the Twin Towers collapse on 9-11.

To contribute, call Neighbors 4 Neighbors at (305) 597-4404 or go to <a href=”http://For those looking to help, Neighbors 4 Neighbors has established a fund for those in need. To contribute, call Neighbors 4 Neighbors at (305) 597-4404 or go to” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”></a>.

MORE NEWS: Key Biscayne Takes Action After Video On Social Media Shows Crack In Ceiling Of Condo Parking Garage

So far, they have raised more than $90,000.

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