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Death toll in Florida condo collapse rises to 60; rescue workers vow to press on

A member of the Israeli search and rescue team, left, salutes in front of the rubble that once was Champlain Towers South during a prayer ceremony, on July 7, 2021, in Surfside, Florida. (Jose A Iglesias/Miami Herald via AP)
A member of the Israeli search and rescue team, left, salutes in front of the rubble that once was Champlain Towers South during a prayer ceremony, on July 7, 2021, in Surfside, Florida. (Jose A Iglesias/Miami Herald via AP)

SURFSIDE, Florida — Rescue workers now focused on finding remains instead of survivors in the rubble of a Florida condominium collapse pause briefly atop the pile to mark the two-week anniversary of the disaster, but say they have no plans to pull back during the recovery effort.

The death toll rises to 60, with another 80 people unaccounted for, Miami Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava says at a news conference today.

Detectives are still working to verify that each of those listed as missing were actually in the building when it collapsed. Meanwhile, rescue workers who have been at the site for two weeks are dedicated to the task of recovering as many victims as possible, Levine Cava says.

“The work continues with all speed and urgency,” she says. “We are working around the clock to recover victims, and to bring closure to the families as fast as we possibly can.”

The painstaking search for survivors shifted to a recovery effort overnight, after authorities said they had come to the agonizing conclusion that there was “no chance of life” in the rubble of the Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside.

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