Final Victim Recovered From Surf Side Condo Collapse, 98 Victims Identified

Surfside Building Collapse

Over a month ago, on June 24, tragedy struck Surfe Side, Florida. At approximately 1:25AM, the condo known as Champlain Towers South began to collapse. By the time everything settled, a majority of the building had fallen, only leaving 35 people unaffected. From almost the moment the building fell, authorities have been hard at work clearing all the rubble away and have been looking for victims as they go. And now, after a full month of working, the clearing has been completed.

The job the authorities had to do was immense. They were working in Floridian weather conditions, which meant extreme heat, mixed with a decent amount of rain. That didn’t stop these people though. They worked through it all, only stopping when there was lightning or when there was a fire that broke out from within the rubble. Their shifts were 12 hours long, and many camped out at the site. It was an endless effort. But on Friday, July 23, the search was announced completed, and the searchers pulled away from the fallen condo.

In a statement, Fire Chief Alan Cominsky gave praise to everyone who endured those conditions to get all of the rubble cleared away. He said, “It’s obviously devastating. It’s obviously a difficult situation across the board. I couldn’t be prouder of the men and women that represent Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.”

By the time everyone left, more than 14,000 tons, or 28 million pounds, of rubble had been cleared away. Some of that rubble is being used for the investigation being conducted to find the reason for the collapse, and it is also being used as evidence for the lawsuits that are currently underway. The rest of the rubble is being kept in a lot so that more searching can be done to try and find family belongings.

By Friday’s end, 97 victims had been found and identified. But despite the search being declared completed, there was a promise to continue looking for more remains. When the search was called, there was still one person that remained unaccounted for. That victim was 54-year-old Estelle Hedaya, who was found on Monday. Her brother, Ikey Hedaya, told reporters that her remains would be sent back to Brooklyn, New York for a funeral. As it stands, there have been 98 victims found and identified. In total, there have been 242 people accounted for between those who survived and those who passed away.

As the search has been wrapping up, the investigations and the lawsuits have been ramping up. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman said that he will do all he can to make sure the families of the victims and the survivors all get what they are legally entitled to after an event like this. One thing he made clear is that families and survivors will not be forced to give up the value of their real estate for the public good. They will get as much as they can from this.

One other issue on the table in this situation is what to do with the site of the collapsed building. For the time-being the site still needs to be kept clear so that investigators can come in, take samples and look more deeply into how the whole event even occurred. However, there is debate as to what is going to be done to the site after those investigations are completed. There are some who would prefer to turn the site into a memorial to commemorate those that lost their lives. Then, there are those who would just like to see a new condo be built. Judge Hanzman wants the property to be sold at market rates. This would bring in about 100 million dollars. When it comes to how the property is handled, Judge Hanzman said, “All options are on the table.”

This situation is still yet to be finished. With investigations going into full swing, plus the existence of many lawsuits looming right around the corner, there is still a lot more to get out of all of this. If you are interested in keeping up with this story and any other major news stories, head over to our Twitter page and give us a follow.




Every week hosts of BBP News Podcast Chris Baker and Nick Rodd write about all current events from politics, technology, business and sports news.

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BBP News

BBP News

Every week hosts of BBP News Podcast Chris Baker and Nick Rodd write about all current events from politics, technology, business and sports news.

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