‘The America I dreamed of does not build over dead people or mass graves’: Families of Surfside victims speak out



Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Excavators dig through the remains from the Champlain Towers South building on July 9.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Wooden hearts with victims’ names have been put up at the memorial site near the building’s remains.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Nuns from the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church pray at the memorial site on July 7.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

A member of a search team moves rubble at the site on July 7. Authorities transitioned from search and rescue to search and recovery after determining “the viability of life in the rubble” was low, Miami-Dade County Fire Chief Alan Cominsky said.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Workers gather for a moment of silence and prayer after it was announced that rescue efforts would transition to a recovery operation.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

A member of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue hugs victims’ family members and friends at the memorial near the collapsed building.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Crews work at the site of the collapsed building on July 6.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Members of a search-and-rescue team comb through the debris on July 5.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

A controlled explosion brings down the unstable remains of the building on July 4.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

A woman cries as she watches the rest of Champlain Towers South be demolished.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

People watch a cloud of dust form as the rest of the building is demolished.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Karol Casper places a flower on the memorial wall set up near the building.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

People stop at a makeshift memorial near the site.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Search-and-rescue personnel work at the site on July 2.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

A Coast Guard boat patrols the water ahead of Biden’s visit.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

NBA basketball player Udonis Haslem, left, and Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava arrive to pay their respects at a memorial near the building on June 30.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Search-and-rescue teams look through the rubble of Champlain Towers South on June 29.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

People take part in a twilight vigil near the building on June 28.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

More than 3 million pounds of concrete have already been removed during the rescue operation, said Miami-Dade Fire Chief Alan Cominsky.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

A woman puts flowers in a barricade as she pays her respects near the building.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Passersby look at photos of missing people.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Workers search through the rubble on June 26.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Eliagne Sanchez and K. Parker lay flowers on the beach near the partially collapsed building.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Smoke rises as rescuers continued to search for survivors on June 26.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

People stand near the building on June 25.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Mourners light candles on the beach near the building.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Members of a search-and-rescue team work in the rubble.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

People pray together on the beach near the collapsed building.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Firefighters battle a blaze at the collapse site.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

People hug June 25 as they wait for news about their relatives at a community center in Surfside.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Rescue personnel search through the building’s rubble on June 25.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Toby Fried holds up a picture of her missing brother, Chaim Rosenberg, outside the Surfside Community Center on June 25.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Rescue workers use a crane to inspect the damage.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Ariana Hevia, center, stands with Sean Wilt near the partially collapsed building on June 25. Hevia’s mother, Cassandra Statton, lives in the building.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Rescue workers arrive to the scene with dogs on June 25.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Faydah Bushnaq, center, is hugged by Maria Fernanda Martinez as they stand on the beach near the building. Bushnaq, who was vacationing in South Florida, stopped to write “pray for their souls” in the sand.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

The arm of an earth mover is seen during the search operations.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Rescue personnel work at the site on June 24.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Yube Pettingill talks to the media. Two of her family members were still missing.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

This photo was tweeted by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue after the building collapsed.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Displaced residents are taken to a nearby hotel in Surfside.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

The partial collapse left huge piles of rubble and materials dangling from what remained of the structure.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, at center in the red tie, arrives to speak to the media on June 24. “We still have hope to be able to identify additional survivors,” DeSantis told reporters near the scene. “The state of Florida, we’re offering any assistance that we can.”

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Debris dangles from the building on June 24.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

People hug at a family reunification center where evacuees were staying in Surfside.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

The cause of the collapse wasn’t immediately known.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Jennifer Carr sits with her daughter as they and other evacuees wait for news at the family reunification center in Surfside.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Rescue personnel search through the rubble with dogs.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Police stand guard on the day the building collapsed.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

People on the beach look at the building after the partial collapse.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

The building was constructed in 1981, according to online Miami-Dade property records.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

People lie on cots at the family reunification center in Surfside.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

The beachfront community is a few miles north of Miami Beach.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

More than 80 rescue units responded to the scene, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said.

Deadly condo collapse near Miami

Rescue personnel work at the site of the partial collapse.



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