What we know about the victims of the Surfside building collapse
At least 18 people have been confirmed dead and 145 more have been missing since Champlain Towers South, a 12-story beachfront condominium, partially collapsed before dawn last Thursday. A massive search and rescue mission is still underway as authorities hope more survivors are found in the wreckage.
Local police and relatives have identified several of the victims.
Stacie Dawn Fang, 54
Stacie Dawn Fang, who lived in apartment # 1002 of the South Champlain Towers, was the first victim identified in the tragedy.
The 54-year-old mother and 15-year-old son Jonah Handler were both raised alive from the rubble just hours after the partial collapse. A man walking his dog near the scene spotted Handler in the debris and alerted first responders.
“We could hear someone screaming, screaming, making noise,” Nicholas Balboa told ABC News. He was putting his hands through the rubble, saying, ‘Don’t leave me, don’t leave me. That’s when I signaled the fire department to come here. ”
The mother and son were taken to a local hospital, where Fang later died. His identity was released by the Miami-Dade Police Department on Saturday.
“There are no words to describe the tragic loss of our beloved Stacie,” Fang’s family told ABC News in a statement. “The members of the Fang and Handler family would like to express our deepest gratitude for the outpouring of sympathy, compassion and support we have received. The many sincere words of encouragement and love have been a source of strength though. necessary during this devastating time. On behalf of Stacie’s son, Jonah, we now ask that you respect our privacy to grieve and try to help each other heal. ”
Antonio Lozano, 83, and Gladys Lozano, 79
The body of Antonio Lozano, 83, was found Thursday in the wreckage by first responders, while the body of his 79-year-old wife Gladys Lozano was found on Friday. The couple lived in apartment 903 at Tours Champlain Sud. Their identities were released Saturday by the Miami-Dade Police Department.
According to the couple’s grandson Brian Lozano, Antonio and Gladys Lozano had been married for 59 years and were still arguing over who would die first.
“It’s tragic but it’s oddly disturbing that I have peace in the knowledge that they would constantly play at arguing over who would come first,” Brian Lozano told ABC News in a statement. “But in the end … they both got what they both wanted. Each other.”
“Both were avid donors to non-profit organizations, especially cancer since my grandmother lost her mother to the disease,” he added. “Always provide for anyone in need or just to make someone smile. Their souls were truly beautiful and are now blessed.”
The couple’s son, Sergio Lozano, said he lived in the tower opposite his parents and had dinner with them the day before the deadly disaster. He said he heard a rumble around 1 a.m. local time and got up from bed to look out on his unit’s balcony.
“I say [my wife], ‘It’s not there,’ “Sergio Lozano told Miami ABC affiliate, WPLG.” And she yells, ‘What do you mean?’ “My parents’ apartment isn’t here, it’s gone!” And I just ran downstairs. ”
Manuel LaFont, 54 years old
Manuel LaFont’s body was recovered from the wreckage by first responders on Friday and identified by the Miami-Dade Police Department on Saturday. The 54-year-old lived in apartment n ° 804 at Tours Champlain Sud.
LaFont shared two children with his ex-wife, a 13-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son. LaFont’s ex-wife Adriana LaFont said she picked up the children from her apartment on Wednesday night, just hours before the collapse.
Léon Oliwkowicz, 80, and Christina Beatriz Elvira, 74
The body of Leon Oliwkowicz, 80, was recovered from the wreckage by first responders on Saturday and identified by the Miami-Dade Police Department on Sunday. The body of his 74-year-old wife, Christina Beatriz Elvira, was found and identified on Sunday.
The couple lived in apartment # 704 in the South Champlain Towers, their daughter told WPLG.
Frank Kleiman, 55; Anna Ortiz, 46 years old; and Luis Bermudez, 26
Frank Kleiman’s body was recovered from the wreckage by first responders and identified by the Miami-Dade Police Department on Monday. He was 55 years old.
Kleiman had just married Anna Ortiz, 46, and they lived with her son, Luis Bermudez, 26, in the Champlain South Towers.
The bodies of Ortiz and Bermudez were both found on Saturday and identified on Sunday. Their family told ABC News the mother and son were found together and they were certain she ran to be by his side, saying she was “always his protector.”
Ortiz’s sister said it was scary not to know if her loved ones were still trapped and in pain.
“I wasn’t sure. Are they alive or dead? Now I know they’re okay,” Nicole Ortiz told ABC News.
Ortiz’s mother said she was a wonderful mom.
“It’s difficult. I know it will take time,” Josefina Enriquez told ABC News. “I know she left with her son, and they had a wonderful and amazing life.”
“These are the memories that will stay,” she added. “Their love for each other – that’s what I’m leaving with.”
Two other relatives who were in the apartment at the time of the partial collapse are still missing, according to the family.
Kleiman’s brother Jay Kleiman and their mother Nancy Kress Levin were on the same floor when the building partially collapsed and are still missing, according to the Associated Press.
Marcus Joseph Guara, 52 years old; Anaely Rodriguez, 42 years old; Lucie Guara; ten; and Emma Guara, 4 years old
The body of Marcus Joseph Guara, 52, was recovered from the wreckage by first responders on Saturday and identified by the Miami-Dade Police Department on Monday.
The bodies of his wife, Anaely Rodriguez, 42, and their two daughters, Lucia Guara, 10, and Emma Guara, 4, were all found and identified on Wednesday.
The family of four lived in the South Champlain Towers and attended St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, a few blocks away, according to the Miami Herald.
“They were very close to the church community,” Father Juan Sosa, who has been pastor of the church for 10 years, told the newspaper.
Michael David Altman, 50
The body of Michael David Altman was recovered from the wreckage by first responders and identified by the Miami-Dade Police Department on Monday. He was 50 years old.
Altman lived in apartment # 1101 in the South Champlain Towers, according to WPLG.
Hilda Noriega, 92
The body of Hilda Noriega, 92, was found in the wreckage on Tuesday by first responders and identified by the Miami-Dade Police Department on Wednesday.
Noriega lived in the South Champlain Towers, according to her grandson, Michael Noriega, who told ABC News on Monday that their family hoped she would be alive. The family had spotted a birthday card and photographs belonging to him among the rubble, a few feet from where they were praying together.
Andreas Giannisopoulos, 21
The body of Andreas Giannisopoulos was recovered from the wreckage by first responders and identified by the Miami-Dade Police Department on Wednesday. He was 21 years old.
Giannitsopoulos was a student at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, majoring in economics. The Texas native was visiting his father’s best friend, Manuel LaFont, in Surfside around the time of the partial collapse, according to Giannitsopoulos’ family. LaFont’s body was also found at the scene.
“To put it simply, knowing Andreas was loving Andreas,” Giannisopoulos’ family told ABC News in a statement. “He was kind, compassionate, dedicated and loving. He always put others first and never hesitated to do so. Andreas was a staunch Greek Orthodox believer who is now in Heaven with God and his Godfather. spent his life teaching others how to be selfless in everything they do. His family hope people will live with honor when they remember Andreas. ”
Magaly Elena Delgado, 80
Magaly Delgado’s body was recovered from the wreckage by first responders on Wednesday and identified by the Miami-Dade Police Department on Thursday. She was 80 years old.
Delgado lived on the ninth floor of the South Champlain Towers, his daughter, Magaly Ramsey, who told WPLG.
Delgado was born in Cuba and learned English herself when she moved to the United States, Ramsey told The New York Times, describing her mother as a “hard-headed” and “independent” woman.
Ramsey told WPLG she was hoping for a “miracle.”
“If there was an 80-year-old woman who could survive, it would have been my mother,” she told the Palm Beach Post.
ABC News’ Matt Foster, Kate Hodgson, Stephanie Ramos, Gina Sunseri and Stephanie Wash contributed to this report.
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