Transcript for Miami-Dade county mayor on apartment building collapse
Joining us for a first on "Gma" right here this morning is the mayor of miami-dade county, Daniella Levine Cava. Mayor, know that your entire community and especially the families of the people in that building and the people in that building themselves have been in our thoughts all night. Thank you for being with us. I know the search teams have been working throughout the night. What can you tell us about what they have found and was there anyone in the rubble there. Tragically I woke up to learn that three bodies had been pulled from the rubble last night. Devastating news for families waiting for any hope of survival and, of course, we're going to continue to search. Those three people have not been identified at this time. It does bring our count to four of those who've lost their lives in this tragedy. I do want to emphasize that 102 people have been accounted for and that number is way up from the original count and so we're very, very grate for the hard work of our firefighters on the scene working throughout the night day and night from above and from below. Mayor, just breaks our heart to hear those new numbers added to the death toll. I'm so sorry to hear that. Where is your level of optimism that there are still survivors in that rubble this morning? Yes, I'm very hopeful because we have the best team in the world. They're working around the clock and they're using every possible tool. The sonar, the dogs, they're world experienced and I know that they are hopeful and so we are hopeful as well. Mayor, the question, you know this on everybody's mind and I know it's still early but how could something like this have happened? We are hearing that this building was about to undergo extensive repairs as part of this 40-year recertification what can you tell us about this and was there an inspector on site there as recently as a day before the collapse? So the engineering, the structural engineers are there on site helping with the search and recovery because, of course, they have to make sure that the debris does not fall on our first responders. So we're focused right now on search and rescue for sure. The further investigation will be very critical to understand what was at the root of this. Our Victor Oquendo mentioned this study that found that the building had been sinking at an alarming rate and that it was determined to be unstable as recently as a year ago. Could this have had anything to do with what happened there and were you aware of that study? So I've heard of that now that we've been on the scene and, of course, we're looking into that and everything else. Do you know anything, whether anyone has found any clues as to what could have caused this at this point? I can tell you that at this time they haven't found any evidence of foul play, so that is important for people to know. Of course, it's not ruled out. Nothing is ruled out but at this point nothing to indicate that. Okay, mayor, finally, I know that president Biden approved an emergency declaration there in Florida. Do you have what you need this morning? I'm so grateful to the president. He called me yesterday morning, asked me what I needed. I told him FEMA would be a great, great assist to us and he moved mountains, we did our emergency paperwork, the governor did his and it has been orally approved which means that it can proceed expeditiously. The country is with you and your community there this morning. Thank you so much, mayor. Thank you.
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