Death Toll in Florida Condo Collapse Rises to 86

In this still image taken from drone footage posted on social media, search and rescue teams stand during a moment of silence in front of the rubble of the collapsed Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Florida, on July 7, 2021, after officials announced that operations to search for survivors in the wreckage would be ending and shift to recovery efforts. (Miami-Dade Fire Rescue/Twitter via Reuters)

The recovery effort entered its 17th day on Saturday and officials said 62 victims are now identified, 211 people are accounted for, and 43 are potentially unaccounted for.

“We’re continuing the work on the audit of the list to get an accurate count of those unaccounted for,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said during a press briefing Saturday morning.

The disaster occurred on June 24 around 1:15 a.m. local time at the Champlain Towers South condominium in the small, beachside town of Surfside, about 6 miles north of Miami Beach. Approximately 55 of the oceanfront complex’s 136 units were destroyed, according to officials. The rest of the building was demolished on Sunday night, due to concerns over structural integrity and an incoming tropical storm.

The death toll has soared since the remainder of the condo building was destroyed and no longer posed a threat to the recovery search area. On Monday the death toll stood at 28 and by Friday it soared to 79.

There was a “small piece of good news” Friday, officials said, revealing a missing cat named Binx was found near the wreckage and reunited with its owners on Friday, more than two weeks after the disaster.

“I’m glad that this small miracle could bring some light into the lives of a hurting family today and provide a bright spot for our whole community in the midst of this terrible tragedy,” Levine Cava said.

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SOURCE: ABC News, Morgan Winsor, Meredith Deliso, and Marlene Lenthang

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