Florida Rescue Crews Hold Moment of Silence as Survivor Search Ends

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Florida Rescue Crews Hold Moment of Silence as Survivor Search Ends” – below is their description.

    Emergency workers gathered for a moment of silence at a memorial near the Florida condo building that collapsed – some hugging one another and crying as nuns walked through the crowd to pray for the victims and their loved ones.

    The vigil was held hours before the search and rescue would become a search and recovery mission.

    Officials announced Wednesday that there was no hope of finding survivors in the collapsed building. Sobbing families were told that there was no chance of life in the rubble as crews shifted their efforts to recovering more remains.

    The announcement followed increasingly somber reports from emergency officials, who said they sought to prepare families for the worst.

    Eight more bodies were recovered Wednesday, bringing the death toll to 54, the mayor said. Thirty-three of the dead have been identified, and 86 people are still unaccounted for.

    Ernesto Rosatti, a former resident of the building that collapsed, said he lost eight friends – all former neighbors that he remained close to. Rosatti said he lived in the building from 2017 until 2019 and moved only four blocks away.

    On a tall nearby fence near the collapse site, families and well-wishers had posted photos of the victims, supportive messages and flowers. Firefighters hung a banner atop the fence that read “Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Mourns With You.”

    Hope of finding survivors was briefly rekindled after workers demolished the remainder of the building on Sunday, allowing rescuers access to new areas of debris they hoped would contain “voids,” or open pockets with enough room for a person.

    Some of those voids did exist, mostly in the basement and the parking garage, but no survivors emerged. Instead, teams recovered more than a dozen additional victims. Because the building fell in the early morning hours, many residents were found dead in their beds.

    No one has been pulled out alive since the first hours after the 12-story Champlain Towers South building fell on June 24.

    Authorities launched a grand jury investigation into the collapse, and at least six lawsuits have been filed by Champlain Towers families.

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