Officials mark 1 month since South Florida condo collapse tragedy


Claudia Benitez kisses the head of her son, David Barragan, 5, after he wrote a message on a wooden heart dedicated to Luis Bermudez, 26, one of the scores of victims of the Champlain Towers South condo building collapse, as people gathered for a multi-faith vigil near the site where the building once stood, Thursday, July 15, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. Benitez said a family friend had been a caretaker for Bermudez, who lived with muscular dystrophy, and used to bring him to visit with their children. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Saturday, July 24 marks one month since the tragic South Florida condo collapse claimed the lives of nearly 100 people.

“It’s hard to believe that a month has now passed since perhaps the greatest tragedy in our community’s history,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “In a span of just seconds, the unthinkable happened when Champlain Towers South collapsed, taking nearly 100 lives and forever altering countless others.”

Just a day prior, firefighters officially ended their search for bodies in the debris of Champlain Towers South.

At least 97 people were killed in the June 24 collapse in Surfside, Florida, and at least one more person believed missing in the disaster has yet to be identified.

“We honor the precious lives lost and pay homage to loved ones and all those that have suffered immensely,” the Miami-Dade Police Department said in a Twitter post.

Throughout the search and rescue efforts, crew members worked tirelessly around the clock hoping for any sign of hope. Unfortunately, no victims were found alive in the rubble since the day of the collapse.

However, one of the grieving families received a small miracle two weeks after the collapse when their cat, Binx, was found alive.

While the cause of the 12-story building collapse is still unknown, there were several previous warnings of major structural damage at the 40-year-old building. The devastating incident has sparked concern for other potential tragedies around the state, causing building closures both near and far.

All that remains of the condo building now are the walls of the underground parking garage, around a hollowed-out foundation.