Condo collapse live updates: After demolition, search continues. Death toll rises to 28

·7 min read

Rescue crews continue to search through the rubble for survivors at the 12-story oceanfront condo tower that partially collapsed in Surfside, just north of Miami Beach. The rest of Champlain Towers South was demolished Sunday night.

People with loved ones at the condo, missing or safe, should call 305-614-1819 to notify officials. Anyone who lives at the Champlain Towers and is safe is asked to complete a Wellness Check form to help Miami-Dade County keep track of tenants.

Champlain Towers South collapses near the Eighty Seven Park building under a control demolition Sunday night, July 4, 2021.
Champlain Towers South collapses near the Eighty Seven Park building under a control demolition Sunday night, July 4, 2021.

Here’s what we know so far:



A missing 10-year-old attended Ruth K. Broad/Bay Harbor K-8

9:15 p.m.: At least one of two Miami-Dade County Public School students missing after the Champlain Towers South collapse attended Ruth K. Broad/ Bay Harbor K-8 Center.

“You will forever be in our hearts,” a tribute on the memorial wall near the site reads. “Once a Bobcat, always a Bobcat.”

The missing student is 10.

Soon after the collapse, Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho confirmed that the district was able to connect with 15 of the 17 students who are registered as living in the Champlain Towers South condo building.

Death toll rises to 28, 117 people still missing

7:30 p.m.: During the Monday evening update, county officials announced that a fourth body was found on Monday, bringing the death toll to 28.

There were 117 people still missing as of Monday night.

Newlyweds still missing in the Surfside collapse

4 p.m.: Dr. Ruslan Manashirov and Nicole Dorian-Manashirov tied the knot on May 2, just eight weeks before the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside.

The building collapsed early in the morning on June 24. As of Monday evening, the confirmed death toll was at 28 with over 115 still missing, including the newlyweds.

Her nickname for him is “Baby Baku” for the city in Russia from which his family immigrated and he often calls her his unicorn, after the mythical creature she admires.

Read the story about the newlyweds.

Ruslan Manashirov and Nicole Dorian-Manashirov still missing in Surfside collapse
Ruslan Manashirov and Nicole Dorian-Manashirov still missing in Surfside collapse

Mass for the Guara family will be Tuesday

The Guara family’s Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Miami Beach.

The Guara family — Marcus, 52; mother Anaely Rodriguez, 42; Lucia, 10; and Emma, 4 — all died in the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium.

The Mass will be live-streamed on St. Joseph’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

The Guara family — Marcus, Lucia, Emma and mother Anaely Rodriguez — died in the collapse of the Champlain Towers condo.
The Guara family — Marcus, Lucia, Emma and mother Anaely Rodriguez — died in the collapse of the Champlain Towers condo.

Two people found Monday identified as married couple

1:02 p.m.: Miami-Dade police identified two of the three victims found early Monday, 66-year-old Ingrid Ainsworth and 68-year-old Tzvi Ainsworth.

Read about the Ainsworths, parents of seven.

Expect accelerated pace of victim discovery, DeSantis says

1 p.m.: Discovery of victims, even when rescue workers haven’t been impeded by fire and smoke, has come in twos and threes. But Sunday night’s demolition of what remained of the Champlain Towers South should change that, Gov. Ron DeSantis said.

He explained that before the demolition, rescue workers could not access an area “that happened to be where a lot of master bedrooms areas were.”

Now that the building has been taken down, rescuers are expected to make victim identifications much more swiftly.

“It’s likely a lot of people who were sleeping at that time, unfortunately,” DeSantis added.

— Bianca Padró Ocasio

Read the full update from Monday’s simultaneous media briefings.

Looking for pets in the building

11:50 a.m.: After a subdued expression of happiness that the rest of Champlain Towers South came down as planned, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava spent a portion of a Monday update addressing the issue of pets still in the apartment building when it came down.

Levine Cava said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue workers were in the still-standing part of the building as recently as Sunday looking for pets.

“They were at great risk to themselves searching inside those units that had been indicated that might have pets and searching very thoroughly,” she said.

On Saturday, Levine Cava said any pet search before the demolition wouldn’t involve going into units because “it is not safe for anyone to go beyond the first floor.”

An change.org petition to stop the demolition until all pets were found closed with 18,077 signatures. Animal rescue volunteer Stacy Karron filed an emergency motion Sunday night to be allowed to go into what remained of the Champlain Towers South to get the animals she could. The motion was denied.

Another change.org petition asking for Levine Cava’s recall after letting the demolition go ahead had 1,069 signatures as of 2:45 p.m. Monday.

Read the complete story on Karron’s motion.

Death toll increases

10:23 a.m.: Three more victims were found Monday morning, families were told in a private briefing, which Levine Cava confirmed in the Monday morning media briefing. The death toll is now 27, with 118 still missing, she said.

Meanwhile, dust filled the air around the rubble pile, much more so than in recent days.

Debris and dust

9:15 a.m.: From Harding Avenue and 88th Street, two cranes could be seen working on the pile of rubble to lift concrete from the mounds.

To the south of the original collapsed area, parts of the roof sat atop the rubble. Air-conditioning units, halved balconies and curled-up rebar could be seen sticking out of the debris. Rescue teams wearing respirators could be seen climbing through the mountain.

A few residents across the street from the collapse on Harding Avenue, who did not want to speak to the media, were sweeping up tiny mountains of dust that had accumulated on their driveways. Their windows were shuttered.

— Bianca Padró Ocasio

Switch in briefing site

8:45 a.m.: Though Tropical Storm Elsa’s projected path appears to be sliding away from Miami-Dade County, Monday’s 11:30 a.m. media briefing will once again be at the county’s Emergency Operations Center in Doral.

After the first briefing Sunday, the live webcast seen on Twitter went to a Muzak-like version of the James Taylor song “Fire and Rain.”

Solace on the sand after demolition

6:30 a.m.: The sun rose over Surfside’s beach around 6:30 a.m., rays reflecting off the glass windows and balconies of the building south of where the Champlain Towers South complex stood for 40 years.

Now, the building is gone. The north view takes the eye straight to the blue-green Solara Surfside Resort building, except for a few dozen palm trees on the site.

The demolition booms from Sunday night gave way Monday morning to the rumble of waves on an otherwise silent shore.

The gap in the Surfside skyline Monday morning after the Champlain Towers South was demolished.
The gap in the Surfside skyline Monday morning after the Champlain Towers South was demolished.

Just several hours earlier, at 10:30 p.m. sharp, officials had used explosives in the base of the partially collapsed structure in a controlled demolition operation that Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava insisted would broaden rescue operations in hard to reach parts of the rubble.

Residents who survived the morning of June 24 had not been allowed in to gather belongings they had left behind before the demolition. A crane dangled over the now-empty lot. A satellite truck blocked off the entrance to the beach.

The pile was not visible from the beach, and just before 7 a.m., no curious beachgoers had approached the scene.

But the rescue work resumed. Authorities told the Miami Herald that teams were back on the scene shortly after the demolition.

Champlain Towers South collapses under a control demolition Sunday night, July 4, 2021.
Champlain Towers South collapses under a control demolition Sunday night, July 4, 2021.

— Bianca Padró Ocasio

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