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A Florida grand jury is expected to be empaneled to review last week’s collapse of a beachfront high-rise condominium, officials said Tuesday.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said at a press briefing that she had spoken to state Attorney General Ashley Moody, who assured her that she will ask for a grand jury panel to review the deadly incident.
“I was speaking to the state attorney this morning about it. We were talking about whenever it is moving forward that we will be fully on board,” Cava said. “She has announced that she will be asking the grand jury to look at this matter.”
Asked what the grand jury would be seeking, the mayor said, “like all of us, answers.”
Rescue workers continue to dig through the rubble from Champlain Towers South in Surfside following the deadly collapse early Thursday — with hopes of finding survivors quickly diminishing.
About 150 people are still unaccounted as crews from as far away as Israel and Mexico continue to dig alongside local teams. The death toll remains at 11, Cava said at the briefing, adding that all the families of the dead victims have been notified.
The teams are digging in 12-hour shifts on a rotating basis around the clock, using dogs, sonar, cameras and heavy equipment in their search.
Relatives of the missing, many of them from South America, have been housed in a local hotel while anxiously awaiting news.
“This has turned upside down the worlds of a lot of really great people,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at the briefing. “Not only in this state but beyond.”
“It’s been very heartbreaking and very touching because there’s a lot of folks who are experiencing some unbelievable pain,” he said.
The 12-story tower, built in 1981, fell to the ground around 1:30 a.m. Thursday.
Concerns over the building’s safety date to 2018, when an engineering report found “major structural damage” on a pool deck above a parking garage.
In April this year, a letter from the president of the condo association warned tenants that “observable damage such as in the garage” had gotten “significantly worse.”
The association had begun a $15 million facelift of the building when the tower collapsed.
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