Did you take a sec yet today to reflect on how great you have it to be reading my blog instead of laying underneath rubble from a collapsed building? The sad reality is, a lot of South Florida families want answers and are still looking for their lost loved ones.
As of today – following a weekend of rigorous, around-the-clock search & rescue efforts from many organizations including FEMA, OSHA, the FBI, and many local officials – the death toll has been officially announced at 10 and there are 151 persons still missing.
As reported by NBC6 Miami, we take a moment to remember the South Floridians we've lost in this puzzling tragedy:
- ANA ORTIZ and LUIS BERMUDEZ
Luis Bermudez, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, had battled with muscular dystrophy for years and used a wheelchair. The 26-year-old man lived with his mother Ana Ortiz on the seventh floor of the Champlain Towers South.
- LEON and CRISTINA OLIWKOWICZ
Leon Oliwkowicz, 80, and his wife Cristina Beatriz de Oliwkowicz, 74, lived on the 8th floor of the condo tower for several years, according to Venezuelan journalist Shirley Varnagy, a close friend of their family.
- CHRISTINA ELVIRA
Christina Beatriz Elvira, 74, lived on the 8th floor of the condo building with her husband, Leon, for several years, according to a family friend.
- GLADYS and ANTONIO LOZANO
Sergio Lozano, the son of Gladys and Antonio Lozano, said officials took his DNA, as they did with many of the relatives of those unaccounted for, and later told him they had recovered his parent's bodies. Lozano said that his parents, who were married for about 68 years, were scared to die without each other. Antonio Lozano was 83. Gladys Lozano was 79.
- MANUEL LAFONT
Manuel LaFont, 54, lived on the eighth floor of the building and was a father of two, his ex-wife said. Adrianna LaFont said she drove to the Champlain Towers after the partial collapse to find her ex-husband. "I see this huge hole and I stopped there and I said 'Oh my God' and I started screaming," she said.
- STACIE FANG
Stacie Dawn Fang, 54, was the first victim of the Surfside condominium collapse that was identified. She was the mother of the teen boy who was rescued from the rubble of the building. Fang passed away shortly after arriving at Aventura Hospital Thursday, not long after the partial collapse, records from the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner showed. She will be laid to rest in New Jersey.
- LINDA MARCH
Among the missing was Linda March, who eagerly traded a cramped New York apartment for fresh air and ocean views after surviving a COVID-19 infection. She even bought a bright pink bicycle to cruise around Miami with, best friend Rochelle Laufer said. March rented Penthouse 4, and was using the second bedroom of the furnished apartment as her office, Laufer told The Associated Press on Sunday.
Thursday’s partial collapse of the condominium building left the penthouse’s interior exposed, with bunk beds and an office chair still intact just inside the broken edge where the rest of the 12-story structure crumbled into a pile of debris.
Much help is needed, mostly monetary...so, here's some links and sites to check out if you're looking to get hands-on: