Death toll rises to 16 in Florida condo collapse

MIAMI-DADE MAYOR DANIELLA LEVINE CAVA: “We’ve now recovered four additional victims.”

Another four bodies were found overnight in the shattered ruins of a collapsed Miami-area, beach-front condominium tower, bringing the confirmed death toll to 16, nearly a week after the building fell.

With 147 people still unaccounted for, the massive search and rescue operation pushed into its’ 7th day, as crews searched through the mountain of rubble.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava briefed reporters Wednesday.

MIAMI-DADE MAYOR DANIELLA LEVINE CAVA: “And I want to thank them once again for their tremendous, tremendous effort. The world is watching. Their bravery, putting themselves in harm’s way to find people in the rubble.”

Nobody has been pulled alive from the mounds of pulverized concrete and twisted metal since the early hours of the disaster.

Fire officials have spoken of hearing faint sounds from inside the rubble pile, but have said those noises could come from the ruins settling.

SURFSIDE MAYOR CHARLES BURKETT: "We're not leaving anyone behind."

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett and other officials and rescuers however are still harboring hope of finding survivors even as the search has become more difficult from the heat and intermittent showers.

Miami Dade Fire Rescue Battalion Chief, Mark Chavers:

“The hope is there. Even if it's just one more. If it's five more, great. But one more, that would make all the difference in the world this late in the game."

Investigators still do not know what caused nearly half of the 40-year-old Champlain Towers South condo to crumple as residents slept in the early hours of last week.

A 2018 engineer's report on the 12-floor, 136-unit complex, prepared ahead of a building safety recertification process, found structural deficiencies that are now the focus of inquiries.

As recently as April, the condo association's president warned residents in a letter that severe concrete damage identified by the engineer around the base of the building had since grown "significantly worse."

President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill are expected to visit the oceanfront town of Surfside on Thursday.

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