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Death toll from condo collapse up to 86; Miami courthouse evacuated

People stop to say a prayer for at the missing victims at the memorial outside St. Joseph Catholic Church near the collapsed Champlain Towers South condo in Surfside, Florida, on Wednesday. Photo By Gary I Rothstein/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/7535ea89015fc08143b07e097079bbfd/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
People stop to say a prayer for at the missing victims at the memorial outside St. Joseph Catholic Church near the collapsed Champlain Towers South condo in Surfside, Florida, on Wednesday. Photo By Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo

July 10 (UPI) -- The death toll from last month's partial collapse of a Surfside, Fla., condominium tower rose to 86 Saturday as officials evacuated parts of a high-rise Miami courthouse due to structural concerns.

Teams searching for and recovering bodies have been able to access parts of the rubble they were not previously able to reach officials noted Saturday, leading to the increase in the number of victims recovered.

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Search efforts switched from rescue to recovery Wednesday after seeing no signs of survivors in nearly two weeks of searching for people unaccounted for and believed to be lost in the debris of Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Fla.

More than 200 people had been working almost continuously to find victims and survivors since the building partially collapsed on June 24.

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Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said during an update on recovery efforts that out of the 86 victims, 62 have been identified.

"Please pray for all those who have lost loved ones and whose hearts are broken from this unspeakable tragedy and for those who are still waiting," she said.

Overall, 211 people have been accounted for, and 43 are still potentially unaccounted for, the mayor added.

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"We're continuing the work on the audit of the list to get an accurate count of those unaccounted for," Cava said.

The remaining portion of the condominium tower was demolished Sunday night ahead of Tropical Storm Elsa.

Investigation into the cause of the deadly collapse is ongoing, but engineers had pointed out "major structural damage" in a 2018 survey report, noting columns in the condo's garage that needed to be replaced, according to ABC News and CNN.

Reviews of other high-rise buildings following the condo collapse led to the evacuation last weekend of a condo in North Miami beach deemed "structurally and electrically unsafe" in January.

More recently, a review of the 28-story Miami-Dade County Courthouse prompted by the deadly collapse led to closure of the courthouse floors 16 and above.

An engineering firm recommended closing the higher floors to staff for immediate repairs, Cava said in a joint statement with Miami-Dade Court Chief Judge Nushin Sayfie, and Miami-Dade Clerk of Courts Harvey Ruvin.

Following the engineer's report, all staff, including those working on lower floors, have been directed to work remotely, according to the statement. Staff were already working remotely over the last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and had only recently returned to the building.

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Scenes from Surfside, Fla., condo collapse

Mourners stop to pay respects to the missing victims at the memorial outside St. Joseph Catholic Church near the collapsed Champlain Towers condo in Surfside, Fla., on Wednesday. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo

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