It’s Thursday, July 1st - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - Search crews going through the ruins of a Surfside condo tower pulled six more bodies from the rubble Wednesday, bringing the number of confirmed dead to 18.
It was the highest one-day toll since the building collapsed almost a week ago into a heap of broken concrete. The number of residents unaccounted stands at 145. Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said during an evening briefing that two children were among the dead. Sisters Lucia Guara, 10, and Emma Guara, 4, were recovered Wednesday, as well as their mother, 42-year-old Anaely Rodriguez, who is also known as Ana Guara. Andreas Giannitsopoulos, 21, was also recovered.
No. 2 - As the search for survivors of a Florida condo collapse enters its second week, rescue crews and relatives of those still missing are scheduled to meet with President Joe Biden Thursday, in a visit many are hoping will provide some measure of comfort to a devastated community.
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Biden and first lady Jill Biden plan to thank first responders and search and rescue teams. They also plan to meet with the families of victims, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. The president's visit comes a week after Champlain Towers South, a 12-story beachfront condominium building in Surfside, suddenly came crashing down, leaving a pancaked rubble.
No. 3 - Nearly one week ago, Pablo Rodriguez had plans to meet with his mother and grandmother.
He spoke with them for the last time just hours before the Champlain Towers South in Surfside collapsed. His mother, 64-year-old Elena Blasser, lived on the 11th floor, in apartment 1211. Her mother, 88-year-old Elena Chavez, was also staying at the apartment. Both of them are still unaccounted for. As crews approach the seventh day of searching through the rubble for possible survivors, Rodriguez is calling for accountability. To hear what he wants done, click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Cristian Benavides
No. 4 - The tragedy at Surfside is fueling talk about the need for change at the local and state level.
State Senator Jason Pizzo’s district includes Surfside. He told NBC 6 he will be pushing for change involving high-rise inspections. Another area of concern involves condo and homeowner associations. Regulation of condo and homeowners associations falls under the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation also known as DBPR. The state also has a condominium ombudsman, but Senator Pizzo said resources are limited. To hear what changes are being called for, click here for the story from NBC 6 consumer investigator Alina Machado.
No. 5 - Several children lived at the Champlain Towers South, including a teen who was rescued from the rubble moments after the collapse.
The level of trauma can vary from person to person, but Dr. Danette Beitra, an adolescent psychologist at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, says kids involved in the tragedy should have an open line of communication with their parents and focus on the present. Dr. Beitra says it’s common for children both directly and indirectly involved to start questioning if this will happen again. Those thoughts generate a lot of anxiety. To hear her tips to help, click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Laura Rodriguez.
No. 6 - A cat by the name of Coco remains trapped in one of the apartments of the Champlain Towers South.
The small cat was trapped after his 89-year-old owner and her daughter were fortunately rescued from her apartment on the corner of the fourth floor of the south tower. Fire rescue crews cannot enter at this moment to look for Coco due to the unstable conditions of the surrounding debris, but for now have used a cherry picker to leave food and water on the balcony for the kitten. Mia was stuck on the 10th floor, but unlike Coco, Mia’s balcony is not open, so her owner fears that she’ll starve to death. Anyone who lives in the Champlain Towers condo complex and is missing or lost a pet is encouraged to call the Friends of Miami Animals hotline at 833-366-2642.