“Bonded By Tragedy: 30 Days In Surfside” is a CBSMiami Original documentary that tells the story of how the families of those killed in the Champlain Towers South condo collapse struggled for answers and the men and women whose job it was to keep them informed.

The story focuses on the efforts of Assistant Miami-Dade Fire Chief Ray Jadallah, Miami-Dade Firefighter Maggie Castro, and Miami-Dade Police Commander Stephanie Stoiloff as they met twice a day, every day with the families to brief them on the search for their loved ones.

Set inside the room where the majority of family briefings took place, the film uses both videos recorded by family members inside the briefings and new interviews conducted in the weeks after the last victim was identified.

Many of those who walked into that room were strangers to one another. Over the days and weeks that followed, however, they came to rely on each other as they all become bonded by tragedy.


On top of everything else he was handling, Assistant Fire Chief Ray Jadallah was also dealing with false or misleading information being spread on social media. In this bonus material from Bonded by Tragedy, Jadallah and Miami-Dade Police Director Freddie Ramirez discuss the challenges of online misinformation and the problems created by well-meaning politicians.



(Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

CBS4 dedicates “Bonded By Tragedy: 30 Ddays In Surfside” to the 98 victims.


If you’d like to send Jim DeFede an email about this CBSMiami original documentary, you can email him at jdefede@cbs.com 

“Bonded By Tragedy,” was written and produced by CBS Miami’s Jim DeFede, edited by Alexander Bombard, and photographed by Rafael Murciano, David Agudelo, Joaquin Garci and Tom Rabatie. Additional photography provided by CBS News. Graphics and animation were created by Judy Flook, Angela Travieso, Leo Moreira and Manny Torres.