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Surfside tower collapse death toll reaches 95

Jack Franco and his wife stop to say a prayer for the missing people at the memorial outside St. Joseph Catholic Church near the collapsed Champlain Towers South condo in Surfside, Fla. on July 7. Officials said Tuesday the death toll has now reached 95 victims. Photo by Gary I. Rothstein/UPI
Jack Franco and his wife stop to say a prayer for the missing people at the memorial outside St. Joseph Catholic Church near the collapsed Champlain Towers South condo in Surfside, Fla. on July 7. Officials said Tuesday the death toll has now reached 95 victims. Photo by Gary I. Rothstein/UPI | License Photo

July 13 (UPI) -- Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Tuesday that one more body was recovered from the ruins of the Surfside, Fla. condominium collapse, bringing the death total to 95.

In a news conference Tuesday, Levine Cava said the weather has made it more difficult as the recovery process continued. She said the Dade water and sewer department has been called in to pump water from the bottom of the collapsed structure to make it safer for work to continue.

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She said 85 of the 95 recovered bodies have been positively identified and their families notified. Levine Cava said the medical examiner is playing a critical role in trying to identify the remaining bodies.

Levine Cava said 14 people remain unaccounted for. She said 12 had missing person reports filed by the family while law enforcement tried to gather additional information on two others on the list.

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Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said the site of the Champlain Towers South Tower collapse continues to be treated as a crime scene, limiting access to search and recovery and other personnel connected with the investigation in the collapse.

Burkett said the results from the investigation will help dictate how officials treat other towers in Surfside, including the Champlain Towers North Tower.

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The 12-story Champlain Towers South condo partially collapsed on June 24. Due to safety concerns, the remaining portion was demolished ahead of Tropical Storm Elsa last week.

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Investigation into the cause of the collapse is ongoing. In a 2018 survey report, engineers had pointed out "major structural damage" to the concrete slab beneath the pool deck and entrance drive and "abundant cracking and spalling" of columns in the parking garage.

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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