The death toll from last month’s collapse of a condominium building in Miami has risen to 28, with four additional corpses discovered on Monday, according to local officials.
Following the controlled demolition of the remaining section of the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside, Fla., on Sunday, firemen were able to penetrate a previously inaccessible region of the wreckage and discovered three more dead, according to Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
A fourth corpse was recovered by search workers on Monday evening.
With the latest discoveries, 117 building residents still remain unaccounted for, she told reporters in an evening update.
“Please join me in praying for those who lost their lives,” she said at the county’s emergency operations center.
The remaining section of the condominium complex was imploded shortly before 10:30 p.m. Sunday, ahead of Tropical Storm Elsa, which is rapidly approaching the state and is likely to have an influence on rescue attempts as early as Tuesday.
The 13-story structure collapsed in less than 5 seconds. Crews were then tasked with clearing the rubble in order to access portions of the underground garage in search of survivors.
The bodies of 28 persons, three of whom were children, have been discovered from the structure. On June 24, more than half of the 13-story, 130-unit building fell.
The demolition of the remaining building was executed “exactly as planned,” Levine Cava said.
The site was toured Monday by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who said the demolition has allowed rescuers to search through rubble containing what were once bedrooms.
“Likely a lot of people who were sleeping at that time, unfortunately,” he told the Miami Herald.
Rescuers were preparing for the arrival of Tropical Storm Elsa, which made landfall over Cuba Monday afternoon and is headed for Florida.
The storm is expected to make landfall north of Tampa, Fla., Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, forecasters said.