The remains of the last person listed as missing after the deadly apartment complex collapse in Florida last month have been recovered, bringing the final death toll to 98.
“The last remaining missing person has now been accounted for and identified and the family notified,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said at a news conference, describing the search and rescue efforts as “the largest non-hurricane emergency response” in Florida’s history.
Cava said that while the death toll is now final, work to clear the rubble will continue in order to recover and collect all other identifiable remains.
The 12-story Champlain Towers South oceanfront apartment complex in Surfside, near Miami, partially collapsed in the early hours of June 24, when residents were asleep. The exact cause of the tragedy remains unclear.
A month after the collapse, NBC 6 South Florida quoted 911 calls in which residents complained about hearing a loud bang shortly before the building came crashing down.
A 2018 engineering report found major structural damage caused by faulty waterproofing. It was reported that the majority of the building’s governing board resigned a year later in protest to what they claimed was a sluggish response to the problems revealed by the 2018 survey.
The debate over the cost and scope of work was said to have dragged out preparations for the urgently-needed repairs for three years.
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