Thursday , September 16 2021

The fourth Canadian victim of the Florida condo collapse identified

A fourth Canadian victim was identified nearly four weeks after the collapse of a 12-story condo tower in Surfside, Florida, that killed more than 90 people.

Miami-Dade police told CBC News on Wednesday that 24-year-old Anastasia Gromova was identified as one of the victims.

Gromova was traveling with her girlfriend Michelle Pazos, another Canadian who was also identified among the victims in the collapse of the Champlain Towers south of June 24.

Both women were from Montreal.

Gromova’s troubled family left Canada after the collapse and had spent weeks in agony waiting in Miami.

“It just makes it real and difficult but on a different level. At least we can move forward now,” her sister Anna Gromova told The Associated Press, describing her sister as a fast-falling star. “We remember her forever.”

Her parents said she was shiny, always on the trip, constantly smiling and not afraid to take on difficult challenges.

“It’s hard because you knew losses could be avoided and still nothing was avoided,” her sister said.

The judge describes probable compensation

Meanwhile, victims and families who suffered losses in the collapse will have a minimum compensation of $ 150 million US initially, a judge said on Wednesday.

That sum includes about $ 50 million US in insurance on the Champlain Towers South building and at least $ 100 million in US revenue from the sale of the Surfside property where the structure once stood, the judge said. Miami-Dade Circuit Michael Hanzman during a hearing.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman said victims and families who suffered losses in the collapse of the 12-story Florida condominium in front of the ocean will get compensation a minimum of $ 150 million US in compensation initially. (Carl Juste / Miami Herald / The Associated Press)

“The court’s concern has always been the victims here,” the judge said.

He said the group includes visitors and tenants, not just condo owners.

“Their rights will be protected.”

The $ 150 million U.S. does not count any proceeds from the many lawsuits already filed since the June 24 collapse, which killed at least 97 people. Those cases are being consolidated into a single-class action covering all victims and family members if they choose, according to the judge.

“I have no doubt that no stone will be left untouched,” Hanzman said of the lawsuits.

Long recovery effort

So far, 96 victims have been identified, most of them using DNA analysis.

Miami Dade officials said Wednesday night they believe they have two more victims yet to be identified. Officials have not yet announced the end of the recovery effort.

Meanwhile, the site of the tragedy has been largely removed with debris relocated to an evidence-gathering site near the airport where a thorough search continues “with great care and diligence,” said Mayor Daniella Levine Cava .

She stated about the difficulties of the search in a statement Wednesday.

“The enormous pressure of the weight of the collapse and the passage of time also make it more challenging,” she said, stressing that workers were still carefully combing the caller for the remaining victims as also personal property and religious objects.

A woman seen earlier this month has placed a sign in a temporary memorial for the victims of the collapse of a 12-storey condo tower in Surfside, Fla. The deadly collapse has killed more than 90 people. (Lynne Sladky / The Associated Press)

The callers who will be key evidence are being stored in a warehouse in the Miami area, with the rest in vacant lots nearby, said attorney Michael Goldberg. He said everything will be preserved as possible evidence for the lawsuits and for other experts to review them.

The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology is leading a federal probe into the collapse.

“It may take years for their report to be made public,” Goldberg said of the NIST probe.

The building was still undergoing a 40-year recertification process when it collapsed. This came three years after an engineer warned of serious structural issues that need immediate attention. Much of the concrete repair and other work had not yet begun.

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