4th Canadian victim of Florida condo collapse identified
A fourth Canadian victim has been identified almost four weeks after a 12-story condo tower in Surfside, Fla., Collapsed, killing more than 90 people.
Miami-Dade Police told CBC News on Wednesday that Anastasia Gromova, 24, had been identified as one of the victims.
Gromova was traveling with her friend Michelle Pazos, another Canadian who was also identified among the victims of the Champlain South Towers collapse on June 24.
The two women were from Montreal.
Gromova’s grieving family fled from Canada after the collapse and had spent weeks in agony waiting in Miami.
“It makes it real and difficult, but on a different level. At least we can move on now,” her sister Anna Gromova told The Associated Press, describing her sister as a bright star that was falling quickly. “We will remember her forever.”
Her parents said she was bright, always active, constantly smiling, and unafraid to take on tough challenges.
“It’s difficult because you knew the loss was preventable and nothing was prevented,” her sister said.
Judge describes probable compensation
Meanwhile, victims and families who suffered losses in the collapse will initially receive a minimum of US $ 150 million in compensation, a judge said on Wednesday.
This includes approximately US $ 50 million in insurance on the Champlain Towers South building and at least US $ 100 million in proceeds from the sale of the Surfside property where the structure once stood, the Miami circuit judge said. -Dade Michael Hanzman at a hearing.
“The concern of the court has always been the victims here,” said the judge.
The group includes visitors and tenants, not just condo owners, he said.
“Their rights will be protected.”
The US $ 150 million does not include the proceeds of the many lawsuits already filed since the June 24 collapse, which killed at least 97 people. These lawsuits are consolidated into a single class action suit that would cover all victims and their family members if they so wish, according to the judge.
“I have no doubt that no stone will be overlooked,” Hanzman said of the lawsuits.
Long recovery effort
So far, 96 victims have been identified, many of them using DNA analysis.
Miami Dade officials said Wednesday night they believed they had two more victims to identify. Authorities have yet to announce the end of the recovery effort.
During this time, the site of the tragedy has been largely cleaned up and the debris has been moved to an evidence collection site near the airport where a thorough search will continue “with considerable care and diligence,” he said. said Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
She spoke of the difficulties of the research in a statement Wednesday.
“The enormous pressure from the weight of the collapse and the passage of time also makes the task more difficult,” she said, noting that workers always carefully raked the rubble for the remaining victims as well as for personal belongings. and religious artifacts.
The rubble that will be key evidence is being stored in a warehouse in the Miami area, with the rest in vacant lots nearby, attorney Michael Goldberg said. All of this will be kept as possible evidence for prosecution and for other experts to review, he said.
The US National Institute of Standards and Technology is conducting a federal investigation into the collapse.
“It may take years for their report to become public,” Goldberg said of the NIST probe.
The building had just undergone its 40-year recertification process when it collapsed. This came three years after an engineer warned of serious structural issues requiring immediate attention. Most of the concrete repairs and other work had not yet started.