The number of confirmed dead in the collapse of a condo building in Florida last month jumped to 94 Monday after four more bodies were pulled from the rubble.
Officials said 22 people remain unaccounted for in the ruins of Champlain Tower South in Surfside, which collapsed on June 24.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said during a Monday morning press briefing that 83 of the victims have been identified.
“I want to stress that the police and the medical examiner teams are continuing their around-the-clock work to identify victims,” she said.
“However, the process of making identifications has become more difficult as time goes on,” Levine Cava added. “The recovery at this point is yielding human remains.”
First responders will continue to sift through the rubble, with Levine Cava saying it appears the work will take several more weeks.
She said foul weather has forced the work to stop temporarily and may do so again.
“Our search and recovery continued over the last operational period with some brief interruption due to lightning,” she said. “We do expect ongoing inclement weather over the next few days so we expect that there will be a few brief pauses.”
Meanwhile, Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said discussions have begun regarding the future of the collapse site, “given it is a very, very sort of holy site at this point.”
Officials have floated the idea of converting the site to a memorial.
“It’s obvious that this has become much more than a collapsed building site,” Burkett said. “It is a holy site, for lack of a better word.”
He said security will be beefed up at the site in the interim to limit access to first responders and authorized officials.