Death Toll Rises In Condo Collapse; Number Of Missing Persons Grows To 159

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Four people have died following the partial collapse of a residential condo building in Miami-Dade County, Florida, and the number of persons still unaccounted for has grown overnight from 99 to 159, local officials announced Friday morning. 

Although rescue efforts have continued, no additional survivors have been pulled from the rubble, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in a press conference. However, the number of people accounted for has grown to 120. 

“I want to be very clear about the numbers,” said Levine Cava, reports CBS-4 Miami. “They’re very fluid. We’ll continue to update you as we have them, but we have confirmed four deaths.”

Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, signed an emergency order Thursday afternoon, making it easier for the state to coordinate resources at every level of government in the response effort. President Joe Biden has also approved a federal emergency declaration for the state. 

The building collapse, which occurred before sunrise at the Chaplain Towers South Condo, has “resulted in fatalities and nearly 100 people remain unaccounted for,” DeSantis wrote in the declaration. A significant portion of the 12-story building “has been destroyed and the remainder of the structure has been rendered uninhabitable,” notes the order.

DeSantis, who visited the recovery site on Thursday afternoon, said that he and his team were hopeful that more survivors would be rescued from the rubble. “The first responders were able to save a lot of people. They are going to be going through more and, you know, it’s a really, really tragic situation so we’ll hope for the best in terms of additional recoveries, although we are bracing for some bad news just given the destruction that we’re seeing,” he said.

This is a developing story. 

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