North Miami Beach orders evacuation of 156-unit condo building deemed unsafe

National News

NORTH MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP/WFOR/CBS Newspath) – The city of North Miami Beach has ordered the evacuation of a condominium building after a review found unsafe conditions.

The city said in a news release Friday that an audit prompted by the deadly collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside found the 156-unit Crestview Towers structurally and electrically unsafe.

The North Miami Beach Police Department was helping with the evacuation of residents of the Crestview, which was built in 1972 and is about 5 miles northwest of the disaster site.

The evacuation follows a building inspection report turned in by the Crestview Towers condo association Friday, which showed unsafe structural and electrical conditions.

The mayor of Miami-Dade County had suggested an audit of buildings 40 and older to make sure they are in compliance with the local recertification process after the condo building collapse last week.

Meanwhile Friday, the number of people missing in the Surfside condominium collapse fell substantially Friday, from 145 to 128, after duplicate names were eliminated and some residents reported missing turned up safe, officials said.

Authorities also announced the recovery of four more bodies, including the 7-year-old daughter of a Miami firefighter, raising the confirmed death toll to 22.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said the number of missing declined following an audit. In some cases, when detectives were able to contact people who had been reported as potentially missing, they found that not only were they safe, but other members of their families were safe, too. That pushed the list of people who have been accounted for up to 188 and reduced the number of missing, she said.

“So this is very, very good news,” she said, adding that the numbers are expected to keep changing because detectives are continually reviewing the list and verifying reports.

Detectives have worked around the clock to contact relatives and others. In some cases, English and Hebrew names have been offered for the same missing relative, officials have said.

The 7-year-old who perished in the collapse was “a member of our fire family,” Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said.

The discovery of the girl’s remains was especially hard on rescuers, Levine Cava said.

“It was truly different and more difficult for our first responders. These men and woman are paying an enormous human toll each and every day, and I ask that all of you please keep them in your thoughts and prayers,” she said at a news conference.

The mayor also said she signed an emergency order to demolish the remaining part of the building once engineers have signed off on it. She said the order was signed now so that the demolition can move quickly once a date is set. Officials previously said it will likely be weeks before the demolition is scheduled.

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