(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Search-and-rescue personnel work on the debris of the collapsed Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Florida, U.S., July 5, 2021, in this still image obtained from video. Courtesy of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department / Handout via
By Francisco Alvarado
SURFSIDE, Fla. (Reuters) -Search and rescue teams pulled the remains of eight more victims from the ruins of a Florida condominium tower on Tuesday, raising the number of confirmed fatalities to 36 with 109 people considered missing.
The updated death toll was announced hours after several hundred mourners filled a Miami Beach church for the first funeral for victims who died in the collapse of the condominium tower nearly two weeks ago.
Marcus Guara, 52, his wife Ana Guara, 42, and their daughters, Lucia, 10, and Emma, 4, were recalled at the service as a tight-knit family who enjoyed walking on the beach and doing other simple things together.
All four members of the family were killed when half of the 12-story Champlain Towers South building in Surfside, Florida abruptly crumbled in the early morning hours of June 24.
The search for more victims is carrying on despite the approach of Tropical Storm Elsa, which is expected to strengthen into a hurricane as it approaches South Florida.
Forecasters predicted Surfside and the surrounding region would be spared the worst of the storm. Concerns over the impact of Elsa prompted officials to demolish a still-standing section of the building on Sunday night.
Searchers recover 8 more bodies from Florida condo tower
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