94 dead and increasingly complicated identification of victims

Nineteen days after the collapse of a building in Florida on June 24, the death toll rose again, rising to 94 victims, announced Monday, July 12, the American authorities.

Of the remains, 83 have been identified, but this process “Is more and more difficult as time passes”Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.

And if 22 people are still missing, “People who have died may remain on the missing list until they have been identified”, she explained during a press briefing. Identification of bodies “Is very methodical and delicate and takes time”added Mme Levine Cava, calling on families to be patient.

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Clearing rubble

These operations are carried out at the site of the collapsed building by police and county medical examiners, who compare DNA from human remains with genetic material taken from the families of the missing.

The Champlain Towers South, a twelve-story building built on the Surfside waterfront, north of Miami, partially collapsed overnight on June 24 for a reason still unknown. The first elements of the investigation, however, revealed that the structure of the building seemed in places degraded.

The rest of the building, which was deemed dangerous to be unstable, was subjected to controlled demolition on July 4, which allowed the teams to progress in excavation areas hitherto inaccessible. The clearing of rubble “Made great progress”, assured Daniella Levine Cava on Monday, however refraining from giving a date for the end of operations.

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The World with AFP