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Miami Building Collapse: Death toll climbs to five, 156 people remain unaccounted for

The death toll in the Surfside, Florida, residential building collapse has risen to five, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said at a news conference on Saturday.

"Today our search and rescue teams found another body in the rubble," Levine Cava said. "And, as well, our search has revealed some human remains."

The process of identifying the victims is difficult, the mayor said, and officials will be relying on DNA testing "and that is why we've already been gathering DNA samples from the family members," she said.




There are now 130 people accounted for and 156 unaccounted for, she said. Officials have not determined a cause of the collapse.

About 55 of the 136 units at the building a few miles north of Miami Beach collapsed at around 1:30am on Thursday, leaving huge piles of rubble on the ground and materials dangling from what remained of the structure, officials said.

"Our top priority continues to be search and rescue and saving any lives that we can," the mayor added.



Crews are continuing an "aggressive search and rescue strategy," in the rubble at Champlain Towers South, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Alan Cominsky said while speaking to reporters.

Fire crews were able to contain the fire and minimize the smoke that was hampering search and rescue operations, Cominsky said.

"Currently we're searching the entire debris field, we've separated it into multiple sections and we actively ... are applying our search and rescue techniques."

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