MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As the search and recovery effort continues around the clock at the site of the Champlain Towers South collapse, Tuesday morning there was more grim news.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said an additional victim has been recovered.READ MORE: Florida Records Highest One-Day Total Of COVID Cases With 21,000
“Through the ongoing search and recovery efforts, our teams have recovered an additional victim. The number of confirmed deaths is now 95. Eighty-five of these victims have been identified and 85 next of kin have been notified,” she said.
“At this step in the recovery process, we’re relying heavily on the work of the medical examiner’s office. It’s a scientific, methodical process to identify human remains. This work is becoming more difficult with the passage of time and although our teams are working as hard as they can, it takes time,” said Levine Cava.
There are 14 people potentially unaccounted for.
“I want to stress again, as we’ve done throughout, that this is truly fluid. We can only account for a missing person who may be deceased once the identification is made, in this case now through the medical examiner’s office. So that list of 14 includes 12 were missing person reports that have been filed with the police department and two other reports that our detectives are continuing to try to verify,” said Levine Cava.
Levine Cava said the Family Assistance Center at the site served 22 additional families on Monday and 213 families overall.
Neighbors 4 Neighbors has established a fund to assist families impacted by the collapse as well as help feed first responders. To contribute, call Neighbors 4 Neighbors at (305) 597-4404 or go to neighbors4neighbors.org/surfsidefund.
A website has been set up for those impacted by the collapse seeking assistance who have unmet needs. That website is SurfsideAssistance.com.
WATCH: Officials Give Update On The Surfside Collapse Search
Levine Cava said as of Tuesday morning, 18 million pounds of concrete and debris have been removed from the site.READ MORE: Royal Caribbean Expands COVID Testing Requirements
The mayor said our recent stormy weather has factored into their search efforts.
“As a result, our Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department has been very active on the scene working alongside our fire rescue team, they’ve been pumping water out of the lower levels of the collapse site in the afternoon and evening. This truly shows that this is a whole of government response,” she said.
In addition to recovering remains, Levine Cava said search teams have also been collecting personal possessions.
“They are ensuring that all recovered personal property and family heirlooms are treated with the utmost respect, with great consideration for faith traditions. When we recover items of religious significance, we make special note, this is a top priority for our teams and our religious leaders. They are embedded as well on the site,” she said.
Levine Cava also thanked the local businesses for their support.
“So many local businesses have gone above and beyond to help feed the families and the first responders over the past few weeks. I urge our community to give back to the businesses that have contributed so much by supporting their businesses,” she said.
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said help for the families who did not have insurance is available through FEMA.
“Regarding FEMA, it’s important to note that each of our affected families of eligible may receive rental assistance, help buying new furniture, and a grant of up to $36,000 to help rebuild their lives. So far, four families have received this assistance,” he said.
He noted that a number of businesses are working to help the families.
“For example, American Airlines and the United Way are working together to fly families to and from Surfside at no cost to those families. They are also flying recovered deceased family members back to their hometowns for burial if requested,” he said.
In addition to helping the families, Burke said another critical task is determining why the building collapsed.
“Knowing why the collapse occurred has huge implications for all of our aging structures in Surfside and beyond, especially those on the ocean where this disaster happened. Surfside is working with county officials to arrange for access to the site, which has been declared a crime scene, so our expert engineer, who worked on the Pentagon after the 911 attacks can gain access as soon as possible to the site to conduct our investigation on why this building suddenly, and without notice, collapsed. This will also allow us to properly diagnose and uncover known and unknown issues at the other oceanfront properties most especially including the collapse, towers sister building the Champlain Towers North,” he said.MORE NEWS: Hundreds Attend 'Down With The Chains' Rally At Bayfront Park For Freedom For Cuba, Venezuela & Nicaragua
As to what will happen to the site once the debris is cleared, Levine Cava said it was too early to have that discussion but there should be some type of memorial there.