THE NEUTRAL ZONE

Workers recovered 10 more bodies out of the smashed remains of the Surfside, Florida Champlain Towers condo as rescuers resigned themselves to more grim work.

It was the most bodies workers pulled from the rubble since it collapsed two weeks ago, with 94 still unaccounted for and an increasing unlikelihood that they would be found alive. The city demolished the rest of the 135-unit condo on Sunday.

“As the magnitude of this catastrophe continues to grow each and every day since the collapse, the community and the world are grieving,” Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade County said through tears Wednesday morning. 

Funerals began for those recovered, including sisters aged 10 and 4 buried alongside their parents. 

At least five lawsuits were filed by families of the condo’s residents. Residents will collect $2,000 in insurance payouts to arrange funerals and receive up to $10,000 to find temporary housing. The residents, many of whom lost all their possessions, filed a class-action lawsuit on June 26 and are seeking at least $5 million in damages. A South Florida official demanded the review of a consultant who said the building was in “very good shape” in 2018. 

Emails suggested a slow response to repair the building weeks before it collapsed, but it may be hard to know exactly what happened, even as officials launched investigations. But lawmakers are already acting as a result of the collapse. A task force will examine Florida’s building laws and make recommendations for reform, and Jersey City strengthened its own requirements to protect its thousands of residents in high-rise apartments.

“The whole world wants to know what happened here,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said, including “what could have been prevented and how we make sure it never happens again.”

MEDIA PERSPECTIVES

This section includes an aggregation of articles showing different viewpoints on the topic.

‘Should We Sell?’ After Collapse, Hot Florida Market Faces Uncertainty. – New York Times – 7/6/2021
“Should we sell it?” said Ms. Mason, a project manager who lives in Northern Virginia and travels to South Florida several times a year. “Should we not sell it? What should we do? We’re kind of just holding on tight and waiting to see.”

“Ambiguous Loss” from Miami-Area Condo Collapse Makes Grieving Harder – Scientific American – 7/7/2021
As of July 5, some 117 people remained missing. How do those whose loved ones are still missing cope with such devastating uncertainty?

After Surfside horror, we may never look at beach condo living in Florida the same way – Miami Herald – 7/7/2021
We may never look at beachfront condo living in the same innocent way again, with the heart of a poet yearning for the sea and the wallet of a professional needing to decompress, no questions asked.

My Turn: Concrete failures in Florida hit close to home – Greenfield Recorder – 7/6/2021
The Champlain Towers collapse was an issue that could have been remediated if the necessary funds were dedicated and repairs made. The structural problems identified in 2018 went unresolved and unchecked until they reached a literal breaking point, a deadly occurrence that it is impossible to put a price tag on in hindsight.

Robots can’t replace humans in search-and-rescue operations, expert says – Construction Dive – 7/7/2021
As the remaining structure of the collapsed Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida, was demolished over the July 4th weekend, construction technology’s role in disaster recovery has taken on new importance.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVES

This section includes an aggregation of tweets showing different viewpoints on the topic.

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