The death toll from the partial collapse of a condo in Surfside, Florida as of Friday has risen to 22, with 126 people unaccounted for, officials said.
The Miami-Dade Police Department on Friday released the identities of three additional victims but withheld that of the fourth.
The department said on Twitter that the newly discovered victims included a seven-year-old daughter of one of the first responders. Chances of finding someone still alive beneath the pile have become increasingly slim as the search and rescue operations stretched into its ninth day.
A total of 188 people have now been accounted for. Also on Friday, a condo building in North Miami Beach, about 10 km from Surfside, was ordered closed and evacuated after an inspection found unsafe structural and electrical conditions, local media reported.
The city said the move was out of an “abundance of caution,” as area authorities check high-rise condo buildings following the Surfside collapse.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Elsa is expected to reach Florida shores as early as Sunday evening, forecasters said. Elsa has strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane and is now battering islands in the Caribbean.
Though Elsa’s path remains highly uncertain, the hurricane could still possibly bring strong winds and heavy rain to most of Florida, further complicating the rescue effort at the site of the condo collapse.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said Friday at a news conference that his state is working on a “dual track” approach with the collapse site and Hurricane Elsa potentially impacting South Florida.