The body of a City of Miami firefighter's 7-year-old daughter was found in at the scene of the Florida condo collapse where he was searching through rubble Thursday night.
A first responder who did not wish to be identified told Local10 that rescuers brought the young girl's body down on a gurney.
Her father draped his jacket over her body, Local10 reported, and placed an American flag on the gurney, before other firefighters who had assisted in the recovery joined him to escort the body out through a group of police officers and firefighters who had lined the road.
Elad Edri, the deputy commander of an Israeli team working at the site, told the New York Times that once the little girl's body had been taken away, the rescuers embraced and wept.
“Our hearts and prayers are with the families affected by this horrific tragedy,” Miami Fire Rescue Chief Joseph Zahralban said. “We can confirm that a member of our City of Miami Fire Department family has lost his 7-year-old daughter in the collapse. She was recovered last night by members of our Urban Search and Rescue Team, Florida Task Force 2. We ask that you respect the privacy of the immediate family as well as our Fire Department family while we grieve our loss and support our own.”
On Friday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava shared that the death toll in the collapse has reached 20 with the addition of the young girl and another body that was recovered Thursday. She commended the first responders working tirelessly.
“They truly represent the very best in all of us and we need to be there for them as they are here for us,” Levine Cava said.
Early Thursday, rescue efforts were paused after officials said the still-standing portion of the building was shifting, presenting a big risk for first responders. Recovery operations resumed late Thursday after a nearly 14-hour pause.
As of Friday, 128 people still remain missing in the Champlain Towers South partial condo collapse that occurred June 24, 2021.