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The number of confirmed dead at the site of the collapsed Florida condo building jumped to 60 overnight, with rescue workers pulling six more bodies from the rubble, officials said at a briefing Thursday morning.
“It’s officially two weeks since this unthinkable and unprecedented tragedy shook our community and the world,” Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said as she announced the additional fatalities since the previous total of 54.
The number of people still unaccounted for in the disaster at the Champlain Towers South in Surfside is now 80.
Of the confirmed deaths, 35 have been identified. In total, 200 people have been accounted for, Levine Cava said.
“Our teams paused their work on the pile this morning around 1:20 a.m. for a brief moment of silence to honor the two-week mark since the collapse,” she said.
“And we have now officially transitioned from search and rescue to search and recovery. The work continues with all speed and urgency. All task forces are being deployed from across the country in the world,” Levine Cava continued.
The mayor added that faith leaders have been involved in the operation at the site, including rabbis and members of the Israel-based emergency response team ZAKA who are working with police to handle the remains of Jewish victims.
“We have a tent designated on site, and when a Jewish body is discovered, a prayer is performed and specific protocols are followed, to honor both the faith traditions and the integrity of the investigation,” she said.
“May God give peace to all those whose hearts have been broken and watch over and care for this community in the difficult days and months ahead,” Cava added.
Gov. Ron DeSantis reacted to the transition to a recovery effort by saying, “Yesterday was tough but the work is going to go on and they are going to identify every single person.”
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