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Storm threatens rescue effort in Florida as first funeral held

World9 minutes ago (Jul 06, 2021 10:01AM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Search-and-rescue personnel work on the debris of the collapsed Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Florida, U.S., July 5, 2021, in this still image obtained from video. Courtesy of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department / Handout via

(Reuters) – Rescue workers searched for survivors of a partially collapsed Miami-area condominium on Tuesday while bracing for a tropical storm that could hamper their efforts, as relatives of a deceased family of four prepared for the disaster’s first funeral.

The death toll from the collapse of the 12-story Champlain Towers South building in Surfside, Florida rose to 28 on Monday as rescuers expanded their search following the controlled demolition of the remainder of the building on Sunday night.

Another 117 people remained missing 11 days after roughly half of the condominium building came tumbling down early in the morning on June 24.

The disaster’s first funeral will be held on Tuesday for Marcus Guara, 52, his wife Ana Guara, 42, and their daughters, Lucia, 10, and Emma, 4. The service is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. ET at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Miami Beach.

Although forecasts predict the Surfside area is likely to avoid the brunt of Tropical Storm Elsa on its projected course to the north from Cuba, scattered showers and thunderstorms were forecast and could hinder the search and rescue effort.

Nobody has been pulled alive from the mounds of pulverized concrete, splintered lumber and twisted metal since the early hours of the disaster in an oceanfront town adjacent to Miami Beach in Florida.

Investigators have not determined what caused the 40-year-old complex to collapse. A 2018 engineering report found structural deficiencies that are now the focus of inquiries that include a grand jury examination.

Storm threatens rescue effort in Florida as first funeral held

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