The body of a Canadian has been found at the site of a collapsed condo in southern Florida.
Global Affairs Canada said on Tuesday that the Canadian is among 36 dead in the collapse that occurred on June 24. The government agency said three other Canadians are among the more than 100 people who remain unaccounted for.
“Canada sends its deepest condolences to the family and friends who lost a loved one in the building collapse in Surfside, Florida,” said Grantly Franklin, a spokesman for Global Affairs Canada.
Franklin noted that three different Canadian families have been affected by the tragedy. He said that Canadian consular officials in Miami are providing direct support to the family of the deceased and to the families of those who are still missing.
“We will also continue to liaise with local authorities in case they have any updates to provide on these Canadians and the situation more broadly,” said Franklin.
A ramped-up rescue effort at the collapsed condo building faced new threats from the weather as Tropical Storm Elsa began lashing Florida.
Local officials said search crews can work through rain, but lightning from unrelated thunderstorms has forced them to pause at times — including a two-hour stoppage on Tuesday morning. Officials said a garage area in the rubble has filled with water because of the steady rain.
“Active search and rescue continued throughout the night, and these teams continue through extremely adverse and challenging conditions,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told reporters. “Through the rain and through the wind they have continued searching.”
While more than 100 people remain unaccounted for, only 70 of those are confirmed to have been inside the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside when it collapsed in the early morning hours of June 24, she said.
No one has been rescued alive since the first hours after the collapse.
The unstable remaining portion of the condo building was demolished Sunday amid fears that the structure could fall.
Officials said the demolition gave rescuers access to previously inaccessible places, including bedrooms where people were believed to be sleeping at the time of the collapse.
While officials are still calling their efforts a search and rescue operation, Cava said families of those still missing are preparing for news of “tragic loss.”
— with files from The Associated Press.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 6, 2021.
John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press