Death toll from Florida condo collapse rises to 5

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The death toll from the Surfside, Florida, building collapse has risen to five after rescue workers pulled another body from the rubble, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava (D) said Saturday.

The latest: The mayor told reporters that as of Saturday evening, 130 people had been accounted for and 156 others remain unaccounted following the collapse at the 12-story Champlain Towers South about 1:30a.m. Thursday.

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  • In addition to the five bodies pulled from the rubble, other human remains had been found, Levine Cava added.

  • Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Alan Cominsky said Saturday afternoon that shifting winds spread smoke had made it hard for first responders to breathe and to see, per the Miami Herald.

The state of play: An engineering consultant at Morabito Consultants in 2018 cautioned building managers of "major structural damage" to the concrete of Champlain Towers South, according to a report released late Friday.

  • In a statement issued Saturday afternoon, Morabito Consultants said: "We completed our inspection and provided our report to the condominium association on Oct. 8, 2018, detailing our findings and recommendations."

  • "At that time, we also provided the condominium association with an estimate of the probable costs to make the extensive and necessary repairs. Among other things, our report detailed significant cracks and breaks in the concrete, which required repairs to ensure the safety of the residents and the public."

Driving the news: The report intended to encourage building managers to "provide a safe and functional infrastructure for the future." A "multimillion-dollar" repair plan was set to kick off soon in response to the engineer's concerns, per the New York Times.

  • Residents had also been complaining of water that was coming through their windows and balcony doors. Morabito noted that balcony concrete was deteriorating due to water infiltration, and because of this he said balcony slab edges needed to be "further investigated and repaired."

  • Levine Cava told reporters Saturday that she has ordered an audit of all buildings over 40 years old in the area, effective immediately, to be completed in the next 30 days.

Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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