Death toll reaches 90 in Florida building collapse

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Death toll reaches 90 in Florida building collapse

The death toll in Florida’s building collapse hit 90 on Sunday, with 31 people still missing.

The grim fatal figure increased as four bodies were recovered overnight, authorities said.

It comes as hundreds of workers continue to sift through the debris at the site of Champlain Tower South in Surfside, which collapsed around 1:30 a.m. on June 24.

First responders worked on the pile for more than two weeks searching for possible survivors before the effort was reclassified last week as an operation to recover bodies.

“The work is still so delicate that we’ve even found unbroken wine bottles in the rubble and recovered them,” Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said at a Sunday briefing.

“We’re also finding personal possessions as small as rings which are also being returned to the site storage area, categorized, photographed and saved for the families,” he said.

People look at a memorial that has pictures of some of the missing from the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building.
Families of victims remain at a nearby hotel waiting for any news of their loved ones.
Getty Images

“One of the things that we were always looking for in the search were the stairwells because the stairwells were thought to be an area of refuge,” Burkett said. “Sadly the stairwells were also in very poor shape and unfortunately as a result of my conversation with team leaders out there did not yield the results that we had hoped.”

Relatives of the victims remain at a nearby hotel waiting for any news of their loved ones.

The pace of the work on the pile increased last week after officials detonated an unstable portion of the 12-story tower that remained standing, opening up more of it for safe searching.

Crews from the United States and Israel work in the rubble Champlain Towers South condo.
First responders worked for more than two weeks searching for possible survivors before the effort was reclassified last week as an operation to recover bodies.
AP
Search and Rescue teams look for possible survivors in the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo.
Demolishing the standing, unstable portion of the 12-story tower last week opened up more area for workers to safely search.
AFP via Getty Images

On Friday, one survivor of the collapse, a black cat named Binx, was found near the rubble, somehow surviving the catastrophe in a ninth-floor apartment.

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