Miami building collapse: Relatives pray for information as 99 people remain missing in Florida

Officials have accounted for 53 people but nearly 100 still not heard from

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Friday 25 June 2021 18:33
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Rescue crews at site of partial building collapse near Miami

Relatives of the 99 people still missing in the Florida condo collapse are praying for more information about their loved ones.

More than 100 people gathered at the Surfside Community Center on Thursday, waiting for more information about their friends and family who lived in the 12-storey apartment building.

Soriya Cohen showed a picture of her husband, Brad Cohen, who she said is missing after the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South building.

One person has been confirmed dead and rescuers managed to bring out 35 survivors from the remains of the 55 apartments that collapsed.

Officials say they have accounted for 53 people but still have 99 others they have not been able to contact.

Luz Marina held up a picture of her aunt, Marina Azen, who she said is missing after the shocking incident.

Sergio Barth of Miami, whose brother Luis Barth, 51, was visiting town from Colombia with his wife and daughter and was staying at a friend’s apartment in the damaged side of the building.

Mr Barth said he had tried all day to contact his brother, without success.

“We don’t know anything about him or his family. Just keep your fingers crossed,” Mr Barth told The New York Times.

Officials in Paraguay have confirmed that among the missing are relatives of the country’s president Mario Abdo Benítez’s family.

Luis Pettengill and Sophia López Moreira, who is a sister of the first lady, Silvana López Moreira, are unaccounted for along with an employee and the couple’s three children.

Authorities say that the number of unaccounted for people does not mean that they were all in the building at the time, as a number of the units are owned by vacationers.

“They are unaccounted for because they have not been heard from or have not called family or friends to say they are okay,” said Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman.

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