Firefighter’s daughter, seven, is among the dead after Florida building collapse

A seven-year-old girl is among the latest confirmed fatalities following the collapse of an apartment building in Florida.

The girl’s father and uncle, both firefighters, had been keeping a vigil at the site of the 12-storey Champlain Towers South since it collapsed on 24 June.

She is the third child to have been recovered from the rubble of the Surfside apartment block and about 200 officers saluted as her body was carried away, the Miami Herald reported.

Pic: AP
Image:Twenty-two people are confirmed dead in the collapse, with more than 100 missing. Pic: AP

Miami-Dade County Fire Chief Alan Cominsky said: “Every victim we remove is very difficult.

“Last night was even more, when we were removing a fellow firefighter’s daughter.

“As firefighters, we do what we do – it’s kind of a calling, but it still takes a toll.”

Twenty-two bodies have been recovered and 126 people are still listed as missing, although no survivors have been found since the hours immediately after the collapse.

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A woman’s voice was heard initially but rescuers were not able to find her and no possible survivors have been heard since.

Pic: AP
Image:A woman’s voice was heard in the hours after the disaster but rescuers were not able to find her. Pic: AP

Some 188 people have been accounted for, a number that grew in the past 24 hours as police detectives were able to contact some of those who had been listed as missing.

Meanwhile, a nearby residential complex has been evacuated after it was deemed unsafe.

Residents of the 49-year-old Crestview Towers were told to leave immediately after engineers found serious concrete and electrical problems, according to Arthur Sorey, city manager for North Miami Beach.

The evacuation was considered even more urgent with Hurricane Isla forecast to hit the state as early as Monday.

Mr Sorey said: “It’s definitely not an easy decision.

“It’s just the right thing to do during these times.

“It’s uncertain what’s going to happen with the storm.”

Authorities have pledged multiple investigations into the collapse
Image:A number of investigations are under way to find out what caused the collapse

Buildings near Champlain Towers South are being inspected over the coming few weeks to make sure they are safe.

The audit was announced shortly after a 2018 engineers’ report emerged showing that the collapsed building had suffered from various structural problems.

It said most of the damage “needs to be repaired in a timely fashion”.

The 84-page report was submitted to the town in April and it set out a 40-year repair and restoration plan for the apartment building.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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