A firefighter’s seven-year-old daughter is one of two more victims pulled from the rubble of the collapsed apartment block near Miami, taking the death toll to 22 with 126 people still missing.
Her father had reportedly kept vigil at the disaster site for the last nine days and was present when his girl was plucked from the ruins after hours-long search.
The girl named by local media as Stella Cattarossi is the third child to be recovered from the site in Surfside.
She was with her mother, grandparents and an aunt visiting from Argentina when the 12-story building partially collapsed on 24 June, according to local10.com.
The collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium in the small, beachside town of Surfside, about 6 miles north of Miami Beach, was reported around 1:30 a.m on Thursday, June 24.
The authorities have now decided to demolish the rest of the building which is still standing.
“Our top priority remains search and rescue. I want to be very clear about that,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said. “We’re still evaluating all possible impacts and determining the best timeline to actually begin the demolition.”
Local officials also ordered a second residential complex evacuated after deeming it unsafe.
All residents of the second building, Crestview Towers, were told to leave immediately after engineers found serious concrete and electrical problems, said Arthur Sorey, city manager for North Miami Beach.
The move was considered urgent due to the approach of Hurricane Isla, which is forecast to hit Florida as early as Monday. The building’s owners had not yet begun a mandatory safety recertification process required 40 years after it was built, he said.
“It’s definitely not an easy decision,” Sorey said. “It’s just the right thing to do during these times. It’s uncertain what’s going to happen with the storm.”