The intense search for survivors more than a week after collapse of the Champlain Towers South building, In Surfside, it reached one of the most devastating chapters Thursday night, when a veteran city firefighter recovered the body of his own seven-year-old daughter from the rubble. The girl was later identified according to local media as Stella Cattarossi, one of the nine Argentines who disappeared in the tragedy, who was with his family in the complex that collapsed.
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Stella is the youngest of one of the two Argentine families who were in the building the night of the collapse. The girl was in apartment 501 where she lived with her mother, Graciela Cattarossi, and her grandparents, Graciela and Gino, when the building collapsed. There was also his aunt, Andrea, who was visiting from Argentina. The four of them are still missing.
Rescuers have so far recovered 24 victims from the rubble, while another 124 people remain missing ten days after the tower collapsed. To the enormous difficulties that local and foreign firefighters and rescuers had to face – rains, fires, the risk of collapse of the part of the building that remained standing, and a mountain of “pulverized concrete” that they had to lift with their own hands – added in the last hours the tropical storm Elsa, that advances from the Atlantic towards the coasts of Florida. Elsa’s arrival heightened the urgency to tear down the portion of the complex that was left standing to guarantee search tasks.
“This will protect our search and rescue teams. We don’t know when it might fall, “Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said during a news conference Saturday. “With these gusts, that would create a very serious danger,” he added.
As the hours went by, the authorities faced a difficult dilemma: define when they end the search for survivors, and give the order to begin the operation to recover the bodies and human remains, which will probably reduce the number of rescuers working on what was left of the building.
A recovered Argentina
Yesterday, DeSantis, Miami Fire Chief Joseph Zahralban and department spokesman Ignatius “Iggy” Carroll said that the girl’s father, Enrique Arango, A firefighter with more than 10 years of service from Miami-Dade County, was participating in the search Thursday night when his companions noticed the body of a girl in the rubble. The man was working at the recovery site, but is not involved in the excavations.
“When it was made known to him that we were close to where his beloved could be, then he stood next to some of his other colleagues,” Carroll said, as reproduced by local channel WPLG. “We were able to bring her in and then at least she had a chance to say goodbye,” he added.
According to an eyewitness at the time, Stella’s father was with her brother, and he used his jacket to cover his daughter’s body, put a small American flag over her and pulled her out of the rubble area. Miami-Dade police confirmed that the body of a 7-year-old girl had been recovered, but did not reveal her identity at the request of the family.
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“Tragically, one of the victims is the daughter of a firefighter from the city of MiamiIt goes without saying that every night since last Thursday has been difficult for everyone, especially for the affected families, but last night it was very difficult for our first responders, my heart goes out to them, ”said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Digging.
The building’s collapse shocked Surfside, a small community of fewer than 6,000 with a strong Argentine, Latino and Jewish footprint located north of Miami Beach. Many of the residents are immigrants who fled the Latin American crises in Argentina or Venezuela. One of the missing persons is Claudio Bonnefoy Bachelet, 85, the only confirmed Chilean, second uncle of former President Michelle Bachelet.
Among the 124 disappeared there are still eight Argentines. Among them are Stella’s family, the family of plastic surgeon Andrés Galfrascoli; her husband, Fabián Núñez; and their daughter, Sofía, six years old; and Ilan Naibryf, a young man who were staying at the Surfside complex, each of them with their respective partners, of foreign nationality. Nicole Langesfeld, 27, is an American, the daughter of Argentines.
Langesfeld was in Miami with his partner, Luis Sadovnic, a Venezuelan, who is also wanted by his relatives. Langesfeld, born in the United States, and her husband had remodeled Apartment 801 in Champlain Tower South, and had moved there just a week ago, as they counted THE NATION sources close to the family. Nicle’s family published a photo of her and her husband on Instagram: “Luis and Nicoles were in department 801. If anyone has seen them or has any information, please contact the numbers in the last image,” the photo said. .