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Toll in Florida Collapse Reaches 86 as Inspection Closes Courthouse

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Vehicles that were pulled from the rubble of the Champlain Towers South are transported, July 10, 2021, in Surfside, Fla.

Rescue workers have recovered the remains of seven people from the rubble of the collapsed condominium building in Surfside, Florida, raising the death toll Saturday to 86, according to Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

At a news conference Saturday, Levine Cava said 43 people remained unaccounted for and 62 had been identified, according to the Miami Herald.

The search for survivors officially ended at midnight Wednesday, nearly two weeks after part of the 12-story Champlain Towers South building collapsed June 24.

The tragedy in Surfside has prompted the review of other buildings in Miami-Dade County and a second building — the county courthouse — has been evacuated. The first was a condo building in North Miami Beach.

The courthouse, completed in 1928, will undergo immediate repairs. County employees, who had been back in the building for a week after working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic, will go back to working from home, Levine Cava said.

A man places flowers on a makeshift memorial for the victims of the Surfside's Champlain Towers South condominium collapse in Miami, Florida, July 8, 2021.
A man places flowers on a makeshift memorial for the victims of the Surfside's Champlain Towers South condominium collapse in Miami, Florida, July 8, 2021.

The engineering firm that examined the building recommended the top 12 floors of the 28-floor building be closed for repairs that include work on support beams and joists, steel columns and cracked concrete columns.

"In general, we observed numerous members with visible signs of structural deterioration that have been documented and reported by this and other firms for quite some time now. Many of these members are in an advanced state of deterioration," inspector Jose Toledo wrote in the firm's Tuesday letter to Miami-Dade County officials.

The report urged the county to remove heavy items from the upper floors.

Meanwhile, a grand jury investigation into the cause of the condominium collapse in Surfside is in progress, and six families have filed separate lawsuits.

U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, whose congressional district includes Surfside, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have both promised financial aid for victims.

Some information in this report comes from The Associated Press and Reuters.

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