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Video shows moment Florida condo collapses

<i>Joe Raedle/Getty Images</i><br/>Maria Fernanda Martinez and Mariana Cordeiro look on as search and rescue operations continue at the site of the partially collapsed 12-story condo building on Friday in Surfsid
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Maria Fernanda Martinez and Mariana Cordeiro look on as search and rescue operations continue at the site of the partially collapsed 12-story condo building on Friday in Surfsid

By Theresa Waldrop, Alisha Ebrahimji and Ray Sanchez, CNN

The dead and unaccounted for residents of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida, reflected the area’s rich cultural diversity, an international tragedy that has touched members of a tight-knit Jewish community and families from as far away as Argentina, Paraguay and Colombia.

Dozens of people remained unaccounted for after the collapse of part of the 13-story residential building. Search and rescue teams have been feverishly scouring the site since shortly after 55 of the building’s 136 units fell on Thursday.

Authorities have identified 11 people confirmed dead so far: Michael David Altman, 50; Marcus Joseph Guara, 52; Frank Kleiman, 55; Leon Oliwkowicz, 80; Luis Bermudez, 26; Anna Ortiz, 46; Christina Beatriz Elvira, 74; Antonio Lozano, 82; Gladys Lozano, 80; Manuel LaFont, 54; and Stacie Fang, 54.

Fang’s teenage son was pulled injured but alive from the rubble, according to family members. The Lozanos were the uncle and godmother of Phil Ferro, the chief meteorologist for CNN affiliate WSVN.

Here’s what we know about those confirmed dead and those still unaccounted for.

Those who died

Antonio Lozano, 82, and Gladys Lozano, 80

At a time when Gladys and Antonio Lozano’s family would have been planning for their 59th wedding anniversary celebration next month, their son Sergio prepared for their funeral.

The Lozanos lived on the ninth floor of the Champlain Towers South. Antonio had been living out his dream of life on a beach.

Sergio Lozano had dinner with his parents hours before the collapse of part of their building, he told CNN’s Randi Kaye. After dinner, he hugged and kissed his parents.

“That was it,” he said.

The son said he returned to his condo in another tower, just two blocks away, at the same complex.

He woke up at 1:30 a.m. when he heard what sounded like a tornado.

Sergio Lozano recalled that he could once see his parents’ kitchen from his apartment. Now it was gone.

“I could see my mom cooking … when night would fall,” he said. “Their kitchen, where my dad would sit and watch TV, it wasn’t there.”

Sergio Lozano said he held onto hope they would be found alive in the hours after the collapse. But the couple died in bed, where their bodies were found, authorities would tell their son.

“That’s the end of the romantic story,” he said. “They were together.”

Their love story spanned nearly 60 years. They met in Cuba when they were just 12. Antonio migrated to the US first. He then sent for Gladys. They married on Miami Beach.

The Lozanos leave two children, seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Gladys was godmother to Phil Ferro, chief meteorologist for CNN affiliate WSVN. Antonio was Ferro’s uncle.

“They were such beautiful people,” Ferro wrote on social media. “May they Rest in Peace.”

Sergio Lozano said his parents often joked about who might die first.

“My dad would say to my mom, ‘If you die, I don’t even know how to fry an egg. I’m going to die,'” he recalled. “And my mom would say that if my dad would die, ‘I don’t even know how to pay the bills,’ and I always told my mom, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll go and do it.'”

“But they died together,” Sergio Lozano added. “It’s not fair — being crushed, being destroyed. It’s not fair.”

The couple perished in the collapse, along with all their possessions.

Sergio Lozano bought a new dress and suit to bury his parents.

Manuel LaFont, 54

Adriana LaFont says the memories of their time together between walls that no longer stand will be forever engraved in her heart.

Her former husband, Manuel LaFont, died in the collapse of the south tower, where Adriana LaFont said they lived together for nearly 10 years, CNN affiliate KTRK reported.

Manny LaFont, as he was known to family and friends, was a Houston native and a graduate of Sharpstown High School, family members told the station.

“My kids were born there,” Adriana LaFont said of the condo she shared with her former husband. “They learned how to swim in that pool. We had birthday parties, first communions, baptisms. So many memories.”

Days after the collapse, Adriana LaFont wrote an emotional post on Facebook, along with photos of the many special moments the family shared at the condo complex.

“So many memories within the walls that are no longer there will forever be engraved in the heart!,” she wrote. “My Manny, who was my partner for so many years, father of my children, who scolds me and loves me at the same time. Adriana be on time!! Adriana don’t change the plans!! Adriana, Adriana…”

She added, “Manny, Daddy, we want to hug you again and tell you how much we love you!”

Ana Ortiz, 46; Luis Bermudez Jr., 26; Frank Kleiman, 55

Luis Bermúdez and his mother, Ana Ortiz, were confirmed as victims of the collapse on Sunday.

Ortiz’s sister Nicole said the agony of waiting for news of their fate is indescribable.

“I screamed,” she told CNN’s Ryan Young. “I’ve almost fainted. I’ve cried.”

Nicole Ortiz said she turned to her faith for help. She said she asked God for a miracle on the third day after the collapse.

“You always have the hope that a miracle could happen,” Nicole Ortiz said. “For me, a miracle happened. I asked God that it happen on the third day … On the third day my sister and my nephew were found and the agony of the waiting stopped.”

She asked for prayers that the agonizing wait also ends for other families. If she could, Nicole Ortiz said, she would climb in rubble herself to help with the search.

She described her big sister as her “protector” and “a great mom” who gave her son — who had muscular dystrophy — “the best days of his life.”

“They were all happy,” she said of Ana Ortiz, Bermúdez and Kleiman.

Bermúdez studied graphic design and created a t-shirt line called Saucy Boyz Clothing.

A tag on one of his shirts reads: “Despite the poor mobility of my hands and fingers because of my muscular dystrophy — I have achieved my dream because of my attitude.”

“There are no limits,” the tag says. “The perspective with which you look at things, at life and at the world, can be the key to you success.”

His father and Ana Ortiz’s former partner, Luis Bermúdez, remembered his son on a Facebook post.

“Luiyo of my life, I miss you with every beat of my heart. I know you are with your mom in heaven, resting in peace and without any obstacles, you are free,” Luis Bermúdez wrote of his son.

Frank Kleiman, who Luis Bermúdez identified as Ortiz’s current partner, was also identified by authorities as a victim of the collapse. His brother, Jay Kleiman, and their mother are unaccounted for.

Stacie Fang, 54

The first victim of the Surfside building collapse was identified Friday as 54-year-old Stacie Fang.

She is the mother of Jonah Handler, the boy who was pulled from the rubble alive, her family said in a statement.

“There are no words to describe the tragic loss of our beloved Stacie,” the Fang and Handler family statement said. “The members of the Fang and Handler family would like to express our deepest appreciation for the outpouring of sympathy, compassion and support we have received. The many heartfelt words of encouragement and love have served as a much needed source of strength during this devastating time.”

Those still unaccounted for

Ilan Naibryf, 21, and Deborah Berezdivin

Ilan Naibryf and his girlfriend, Deborah Berezdivin, were staying in her family’s condo in the building, according to Naibryf’s parents, Ronit Felszer and Carlos Naibryf.

On Monday afternoon, more than four days after the collapse, his family said they haven’t given up hope of seeing their son alive again, but they realize chances are slim.

“We want to believe in a miracle, because we still don’t have the physical presence, in part or in whole, of our son,” Felszer told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota.

“A miracle can come, yes, but we have to be very realistic,” Carlos Naibryf said.

Ilan and his girlfriend were in town for a funeral, Naibryf’s parents said.

Ilan’s siblings and his parents are there supporting each other, they said.

“We have three amazing, amazing children. They have their significant others here supporting them, too,” Felszer said. “I’m embarrassed almost to even admit it: We thought we had the perfect family.”

Ilan “was a 21-year-old young adult. Bright. Everywhere he went, he made an impact,” his father said, adding that his son is a physics major at University of Chicago.

Sophia López Moreira, husband Luis Pettengill and other relatives of Paraguay’s first lady

The sister and brother-in-law of Paraguay’s first lady, Silvan López Moreira, were staying with their three children at the building, and Paraguay’s ministry of external relations has not been able to locate the family, the ministry told CNN en Español.

That family — including Sophia López Moreira and her husband Luis Pettengill — was in the US to receive Covid-19 vaccinations, Paraguay’s foreign minister said.

The Paraguayan first lady, along with her parents and her brother-in-law’s parents, arrived in Florida on Thursday after the collapse, the Paraguayan President’s office said.

Six Paraguayans in all are unaccounted for, the ministry tweeted.

Andrés Galfrascoli, Fabián Nuñez and their daughter among 9 missing Argentines

Argentines Andrés Galfrascoli, 45, his partner Fabián Nuñez, 55, and their daughter, Sofía Galfrascoli Núñez, 6, are among the missing, according to a friend.

The three were on vacation in Florida, staying at the condo of a friend, Nicolás Fernández.

Fernández told CNN en Español he spent time with the couple Wednesday night and made plans to meet up Thursday morning.

“We don’t know anything, we don’t have any closure and that’s what hurts,” Fernández told CNN.

Fernández has looked for his friends in local hospitals with no luck.

Nine Argentines were missing as of Thursday afternoon, the country’s consulate in Miami said on Twitter.

Pascale Bonnefoy, the first cousin of Chile’s ex-president

The first cousin of former Chilean President and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s father is among those missing, his daughter told CNN Chile.

Since the collapse, Pascale Bonnefoy has not been able to communicate with her father, who lived in the part of the building that fell, she said.

“We haven’t been able to have specific information,” Bonnefoy said, adding the whereabouts of her father’s wife also aren’t known. She did not specify his wife’s nationality.

The Chilean consulate in Miami has offered to support the family in the search, Bonnefoy said. “I contacted the consul, and he offered his help, but since there is no information either, there is not much that can be done.”

So far, Chilean authorities have not reported missing nationals after the collapse. CNN is trying to contact the Chilean consulate in Miami.

6 Colombian citizens

Six Colombian citizens are unaccounted for following the collapse, Colombian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Camila Mugno told CNN on Friday.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether they were inside the building at the moment of the collapse. Records indicated that the six had been staying there, the foreign ministry’s office said.

The six Colombian citizens include a family of three from Medellin, and other travelers, Mugno told CNN.

Venezuelans also missing

“At the moment we are handling information from six Venezuelans not located in the collapse of the building in Surfside,” Brian Fincheltub, Venezuela’s consular affairs director, tweeted.

Nancy Kress Levin, Jay Kleinman and other Jewish community members

Some members from The Shul of Bal Harbour synagogue are among the people unaccounted for, Rabbi Sholom Lipskar told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

“This is something that transcends our capacity for understanding,” Lipskar said about the collapse. “It’s a reality, we accept it and we have to learn as we do in our culture of resilience to move forward.”

“The only thing that helps in these times is kindness and empathy and togetherness, because you can’t take away the reality,” Lipskar said.

Members of the synagogue believed to be missing are Nancy Kress Levin, Jay Kleinman, Frankie Kleinman, Arie Leib, Yisroel Tzvi Yosef and Tzvi Doniel, according to Lipskar.

Rabbi Zalman Lipskar told CNN’s Randi Kaye he believes at least 20 people associated with the Shul of Bal Harbour are missing. Their ages range from 20 to 60 years old.

He said he spoke with one woman who believes that she is missing seven or eight of her family members. He told CNN he also knows of a couple, both 26 years old, and a doctor who is a member of his synagogue, who are missing as well.

The rabbi said an older couple — the parents of his childhood friend — are also missing.

“It’s just been heart-wrenching … not knowing, and not being able to really deal with this magnitude of the tragedy that’s unfolding,” the rabbi said.

Rabbi Eliot Pearlson, who leads Temple Menorah, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo, “It’s hard to explain. This doesn’t happen in America. It’s doesn’t happen in Miami Beach. It doesn’t happen in our homes. And it’s very difficult to comprehend how it’s possible.”

Pearlson said that he saw people come together in compassion following the collapse, and his temple will host an emergency prayer service on Friday.

Three generations of one family from his temple are among those unaccounted for, he said.

He added, “I have to tell you, when I walked past ground zero, there was row after row after row of firefighters who are literally waiting to rush into a building that could fall at any time.”

Uruguayan citizens missing

Three Uruguayan citizens are among the missing, according to the consulate in Miami.

The consulate is in contact with local authorities and with the families of the people missing, said Consul General Eduardo Bouzout.

“The relatives are very concerned, of course, because they have not been able to contact them since they have knowledge of this tragic collapse,” said Bouzout in audio shared by the consulate with CNN.

Mother and grandmother unaccounted for

A woman who said creaking noises woke her up in the building the night before the collapse is missing, her son, Pablo Rodriguez, said.

Both his mother and grandmother were in the section that collapsed first, and the family hasn’t heard from them, Rodriguez told CNN.

“You always hold out hope,” he said. “Until we definitively know, we are trying to stay hopeful. But after seeing the video of the collapse it’s increasingly difficult, because they were in that section that was pancaked in, in the first section that fell in, and then the other building fell on top of it, so it’s not easy to watch.”

Rodriguez said he and his mother didn’t really think anything about the creaking noise.

“It was just a comment she made offhand, that’s why she woke up, and then she wasn’t able to go back to sleep afterward — but now in hindsight, you always wonder,” he said.

The family is still holding out hope for good news, Rodriguez said.

“We are praying for a miracle, but at the same time trying to be as realistic about it as possible,” he said. “Until we definitely know, there is hope. It’s just dwindling by the minute.”

The Patel family

Vishal Patel, his wife Bhavna Patel, and their 1-year-old daughter Aishani Patel are believed to be among the missing, their niece Sarina Patel told CNN, adding that Bhavna Patel is four-months pregnant.

Sarina Patel told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Friday she last spoke to her family on Father’s Day.

“I had actually called them to tell them I had just booked a flight to come visit because they’ve been asking me to come see their home and to meet their daughter. I haven’t met her due to the pandemic.”

They were home at the time the collapse took place, Patel told Cuomo.

“We have tried calling them countless of times and there’s just been no answers, text messages, nothing,” she said. “They haven’t contacted anybody.”

Judy Spiegel

Kevin Spiegel, who lived in Champlain Towers with his wife, Judy, said he was on a business trip in California when the building collapsed.

When he woke up in the middle of the night, he had an emergency notice on his phone, he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, and he notified the rest of his family.

“We’re very hopeful that the community here will be able to find our loved ones,” said Josh Spiegel, Judy’s son, who lives in Orlando.

“My mom is an absolutely amazing person,” Josh Spiegel said. “She’s a fighter, and she fights for every single one of us, and we won’t stop … fighting until we find her,” he said.

“We have a lot of hope that Judy is still alive, and still there,” said Kevin Spiegel. “She’s an amazing person.”

Her daughter, Rachel Spiegel, last received a text from her mother around 9 p.m. Wednesday — roughly four and a half hours before the collapse, she told CNN.

That text was about a princess dress that Judy ordered for one of Rachel’s daughters. The family has been Judy’s main focus, Rachel said.

Judy has a bond with her grandchildren, and “the other kids that we hang out with, they love Grandma Judy — everybody calls her Grandma Judy,” Rachel said.

Cassondra Stratton

Cassondra Stratton, the wife of Michael Stratton, senior policy advisor with the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, is among those still believed to be missing, his law firm’s spokesperson Lara Day told CNN.

Garciella Cattarossi and some of her relatives

Garciella Cattarossi, her daughter Estella and Cattarossi’s elderly parents are missing after the collapse, Cattarossi’s friend Mariela Porras told CNN on Friday.

When Porras learned of the collapse and realized it was Cattarossi’s building, she called Cattarossi but got no answer, she said.

She described Cattarossi as a talented photographer who has been working to get her real estate license and “is just a wonderful person trying to always do the right thing.”

3 members of Velasquez family

Three members of the Velasquez family are also believed missing after the building collapse, according to family members.

David Velasquez posted on Facebook that his parents, Julio Cesar Velasquez, 67, and Angela Maria Velasquez, 60, live in the 12-story residential building.

His sister Theresa Velasquez, 36, had come to visit her parents and was staying with them at the time of the collapse.

David Velasquez’s wife confirmed that they were missing in a text message to CNN. She said the family requests privacy at this time.

Her father is missing

Debbie Hill says her father is also missing in the building collapse.

“Not knowing is the big issue,” she told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Friday. “I have a relative who’s down there at the center and he gets more information off the news than he does being down there.”

“When they show the live views, you don’t realize how massive this is until you see a person standing on the top of the pile,” she said.

Hill said her father was in one of the top floors of the building.

“My dad was in air freight sales most of his life,” she said. “He had a lot of friends throughout the country, throughout the world. He loved what he did, he enjoyed fishing, he liked to travel. He was just getting ready to retire.”

“He was going to be training somebody that’s replacing him in the fall and then we got the phone call and everything in our world changed,” Hill said.

Maria and Claudio Bonnefoy

Bettina Obias also said her aunt and uncle, Maria and Claudio Bonnefoy, are also missing.

She told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that as soon as she heard about the collapse, she went to the site herself.

“As soon as I saw this, I fell apart,” she said, referring to the rubble.

She said that while she’s trying to be realistic, she also is holding on to “a sliver of hope.”

“I know in my heart somebody there is still alive and if it’s not my aunt or uncle, I hope it’s somebody’s father, or somebody’s son,” Obias said. “I’m hoping that there are many survivors.”

She said her uncle was a retired United Nations legal counsel and her aunt was an International Monetary Fund budget official.

Gil and Betty Guerra

Gil Guerra and his wife, Betty Guerra, lived on the ninth floor of the building, his daughter said, and there has been no word from them since the tragedy.

“We’re doing our best to stay hopeful,” Michelle Guerra told CNN via Facebook Messenger Saturday. “That’s what they would want.”

Her father and stepmother were in the process of moving out of apartment 910 and had just gotten furniture at their new apartment on Monday, she said.

The couple was renting, and the owner was in the process of selling the unit, according to Guerra, who said she said she last spoke to her dad on Father’s Day

“This is all so horrific and bizarre. They are both such caring, hardworking people,” Guerra said.

“They only got married late 2017 and have been living it up like two teenagers in love traveling the world and eating all they can together,” she said. “They lived a full time together.”

Magaly Delgado

Magaly “Maggie” Ramsey missed a phone call from her mother on Wednesday night, thinking she could just call back in the morning. But she hasn’t gotten the chance.

Ramsey’s mother, 80-year-old Magaly Delgado, lived on the ninth floor of the building for more than 10 years. Ramsey said her mother was trying to “live her best life” in Champlain Towers South condos by the water.

“She loved the building, she loved the community,” Ramsey said of her mother.

Ramsey learned of the collapse on the news, she said.

“Never in a thousand years did I think that was her building or that her building is just not there anymore,” she said. “But that’s how we found out, so we quickly packed up and headed down.”

Delgado, who was originally from Cuba, was a “woman of faith” who taught Ramsey to have faith as well, and while the family is “burdened with such despair,” they have faith “in the miracles that God can create,” Ramsey said.

“The worst thing is not to know,” Ramsey said. “Knowing, whatever the outcome may be, you hope that they didn’t suffer if something did occur. But knowing is a little bit healing in itself.”

Hilda Noriega

Michael Noriega said his 92-year-old grandmother had been living in the building for 20 years.

“She’s just so vibrant, full of energy, extremely independent. She’s probably the most popular person that I know, just tons of friends,” he said. “And she lives her life with her faith first, her family, second, and her friends, third.”

Michael Noriega said his father rushed to the site on Thursday as soon as they heard about the collapse.

Standing among debris, Michael Noriega’s father found a birthday card given to Hilda by friends, and another family member found two photos of her. One of the photos, taken years ago, showed Hilda and her husband posing with Michael’s father as a boy.

Ruslan and Nicole Manashirov

Recently married Ruslan Manashirov and Nicole Doran Manashirov are missing, Ruslan’s sister-in-law told CNN affiliate News 12 Connecticut.

Ruslan grew up in Bergen Beach in New York City and worked as a physician, they said. Nicole grew up in Pittsburgh, CNN affiliate KDKA reported, citing friends.

Leah Caliguire told KDKA that she said stayed at the couple’s Champlain Towers South condo last month. “It was a beautiful building, you would never think anything like this could possibly happen,” she said.

Richard Augustine

The 77-year-old resident of Champlain Towers South planned to leave Florida and fly to Chicago, his daughter, Debbie Hill, told CNN affiliate WLS.

“He just finished up a trip with my brother out in California and he went home to repack his bags and he was coming to spend the weekend here,” she said.

Hill said she’s seen video of the collapse and saw her father’s unit falling.

“He was right in the corner where the buildings met,” she said. “Yeah, that was pretty scary to watch. And of course, immediately I tried to call him and his phone went straight to voice mail.”

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the ages of Antonio and Gladys Lozano based on initial information from police. Antonio is 82 and Gladys is 80.

™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Ana Zuniga, Melissa Alonso, Christina Maxouris, Jamiel Lynch, Abel Alvarado, Valentina Moreira, Jacqueline Rose, Catherine Carter, Camille Furst, Keith Allen, Rebekah Riess, Stefano Pozzebon, Hannah Sarisohn, David Williams, Gerardo Lemos and Radina Gigova contributed to this report.

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