Miami Building Collapse Victims: Who They Were

4 weeks ago 13

The decease toll has climbed to 12, with astir 150 radical missing.

A makeshift memorial adjacent   Champlain Towers South successful  Surfside, Fla., connected  Saturday.
Credit...Scott McIntyre for The New York Times

June 30, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ET

When Champlain Towers South, a 13-story beachfront condo gathering successful Surfside, Fla., partially collapsed connected June 24, dozens of residents were trapped successful an tremendous heap of factual and steel. The cave-in, successful the mediate of an different mean lukewarm summertime night, acceptable disconnected a monolithic search-and-rescue effort to find survivors amid the ruins.

One teenage lad was pulled live from the rubble aboriginal on, but his parent aboriginal died from her injuries. She would beryllium the archetypal authoritative victim, and others would soon follow. A mates nearing their 60th anniversary, different mates joined conscionable weeks ago, a begetter whose top joys were his children, and a budding manner graphic decorator were among those confirmed dead.

As of Tuesday evening, the decease toll had climbed to 12 and astir 150 radical remained missing.

Here are immoderate of their stories.

— Audra D.S. Burch

Unit 1002


Stacie Fang was the archetypal unfortunate identified successful the condo collapse. She was the parent of Jonah Handler, a 15-year-old lad who was pulled live from the rubble successful a dramatic rescue arsenic helium begged rescuers, “Please don’t permission me.”

Ms. Fang, who according to her LinkedIn leafage had worked since 2009 arsenic a vice president for a institution that organizes an yearly lawsuit for retail marketers, was besides pulled from the wreckage but pronounced dormant astatine a adjacent hospital.

“There are nary words to picture the tragic nonaccomplishment of our beloved Stacie,” the Fang and Handler families said successful a connection posted connected Twitter by a section TV reporter.

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In an Instagram post, Phil Ferro, the main meteorologist connected WSVN Channel 7 successful Miami, confirmed that Gladys Lozano, his godmother, and Antonio Lozano, his uncle, had died successful the collapse. For days, Mr. Ferro had been reporting connected upwind conditions affecting the search-and-rescue operation.

“My godmother was astir apt 1 of the astir beauteous radical successful the satellite that I’ve ever known,” Mr. Ferro said successful a WSVN interview. “For immoderate occasion, she would cook. They would beryllium the beingness of the party. My uncle Tony was precise overmuch speedy with a joke, and they were genuinely the benignant of radical who whenever you needed, they were determination for you, for the full family.”

He added, “They were recovered together, and truthful we’re each conscionable going with the thought that they ne'er knew what happened,” helium said. “They fell asleep, and that was it.”

Unit 801


Manuel LaFont, a businessman who worked with Latin American companies and near down a 10-year-old lad and a 13-year-old daughter, was described by his erstwhile woman arsenic “the champion dad.”

Adriana LaFont said her ex-husband was a loving and devoted begetter who had a passionateness for shot — 1 helium had inherited from his Cuban parents. Mr. LaFont had played the athletics erstwhile helium was young and coached his son’s team, ne'er missing a signifier oregon a game.

“He’s the astir genuine idiosyncratic I ever met,” she said.

Their children were with Ms. LaFont erstwhile the gathering collapsed.

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Leon Oliwkowicz, 80, and Cristina Beatriz Elvira, 74, were from Venezuela and had precocious moved to Surfside, according to, which said they were progressive successful the Orthodox Jewish assemblage successful greater Chicago, wherever 1 of their daughters lives.

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Luis Andres Bermudez, 26, lived with his mother, Ana Ortiz, 46. Mr. Bermudez’s father, besides named Luis Bermudez, confirmed his son’s decease connected social media.

In a enactment penned by the elder Mr. Bermudez successful Spanish, helium wrote: “My Luiyo. You gave maine everything … I volition miss you each of my life. We’ll spot each different soon. I volition ne'er permission you alone.”

The younger Mr. Bermudez was a manner graphic designer, according to his website. On his Instagram biography helium described himself arsenic “Just a feline with large dreams and ideas. Creative successful each mode and looking to collaborate with artists. Making my mode up. Blessed.”

A teacher from Mr. Bermudez’s precocious schoolhouse successful Puerto Rico, Jose J Ortiz Carlo, described him arsenic an illustration of courageousness. “From his wheelchair and arsenic a lifelong battler of muscular dystrophy, Luis taught america much astir COURAGE, PERSEVERANCE, and astir however to marque the champion of one’s LIFE than immoderate book, immoderate acquisition oregon immoderate theory,” helium wrote successful a Facebook post. “He was the embodiment of what it means to beryllium a existent SILENT WARRIOR.”

Mr. Bermudez lived with his precocious wed parent and caller stepfather, Frank Kleiman, 55, conscionable down the hallway from Mr. Kleiman’s mother, Nancy Kleiman, who was among the missing. His brother, Jay Kleiman, was visiting the household and staying with their parent the nighttime of the collapse. He is besides among those inactive unaccounted for.

Frank Kleiman and Ms. Ortiz ran a tiny message work concern successful Miami, according to Alex Garcia, a adjacent friend.

“He ever kept his chin up. He wasn’t judgmental. He was the benignant of feline you could stock thing with,” Mr. Garcia, 55, said. “He was 1 of my champion friends, the champion antheral successful my wedding and we traveled together.”

They had conscionable seen each different connected Father’s Day, 4 days earlier the collapse.

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Officials identified Michael David Altman, 50, arsenic among those killed successful the collapse.

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Marcus Joseph Guara, 52, lived with his wife, Ana, and their 2 daughters, Lucia and Emma, each of whom stay missing. He was remembered arsenic a benignant and generous man, a godfather to his adjacent friend’s duplicate 9-year-old boys and a instrumentality of hard stone music.

Jose Dezarraga, who grew up with Mr. Guara, said overmuch of their puerility was spent outdoors, moving and swimming oregon biking and playing soccer. The 2 besides bonded implicit a shared emotion of the stone set Kiss.

“His ma took america to our archetypal Kiss performance and we went again to spot them successful Tampa 2 years ago,” Mr. Dezarraga, 53, said. They spent past Christmas together, and Mr. Guara gave bikes to the twins.

“I had conscionable talked to him astir 2 weeks ago,” helium said. “What I did not cognize astatine the clip is helium and different person were readying a astonishment visit.”

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