Death toll climbs from Miami condo building collapse

Four people have died as a result of a residential building collapsing in the Miami area on Thursday.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava (D) on Friday confirmed the new tally in a news conference.

She added that 159 people are now unaccounted for, up from the 99 authorities said on Thursday. In addition, 120 people have been accounted for, up from the original estimate of 102 people. 

Cava added that the numbers are “very fluid” and said authorities will continue to provide updates as they come in.  

The Champlain Towers South Condo partially collapsed early Thursday morning, causing about 55 of the more than 130 units to tumble to the ground.

Cava said search and rescue efforts continued into Thursday evening, and are still underway. She expressed hope that authorities will find survivors.

“We will continue search and rescue efforts because we still have hope that we will find people alive,” Cava said. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) declared a state of emergency on Thursday, making it easier for federal resources to be provided to help rescue efforts.   

President Biden on Friday approved the emergency declaration, authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to aid in local relief efforts.

“We are very, very grateful that our president has authorized FEMA support,” Cava said. “And that is going to assist us in our recovery efforts as well to assist the families.” 

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