- Title: Praying for 'miracle,' families await news of missing in Florida condo collapse
- Date: 25th June 2021
- Summary: SURFSIDE, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES (JUNE 25, 2021) (REUTERS) TWO WOMEN HUGGING OUTSIDE REUNIFICATION CENTER WIDE OF PEOPLE HUGGING, TALKING OUTSIDE REUNIFICATION CENTER CLOSER SHOT OF PEOPLE HUGGING WOMAN CARRYING BABY SEATED ON BENCH SIGN READING (ENGLISH): "TOWN OF SURFSIDE COMMUNITY CENTER" PEOPLE OUTSIDE CENTER (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) SERGIO BARTZ, WHOSE BROTHER LUIS BARTZ HAS BEEN MISSING SINCE THE BUILDING COLLAPSED, SAYING: "I mean, resignation, but just trusting in God that any miracle can occur, not only for me but for all the ones who are suffering the same." WIDE OF PEOPLE OUTSIDE CENTER (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) SERGIO BARTZ, WHOSE BROTHER LUIS BARTZ HAS BEEN MISSING SINCE THE BUILDING COLLAPSED, SAYING: "We don't have any plans. We're just waiting right here. As I told you, we're waiting for any, any, any miracle. There's nothing that we can do. Just pray and wait for...at least to find them." PEOPLE HUGGING OUTSIDE CENTER (SOUNDBITE) (SPANISH) SERGIO BARTZ, WHOSE BROTHER LUIS BARTZ HAS BEEN MISSING SINCE THE BUILDING COLLAPSED, SAYING: "That's what's so sad. Obviously, their loss is very difficult but my mother came - after a very hard year, I hadn't seen them for a year and a half because we couldn't travel because of COVID. So, we waited until my mother had both her vaccine doses in Colombia and we made plans for her to come. My brother came - they all took advantage of the trip to get vaccinated, his wife and daughter too - and to do all that to get together as a family and to face such a hard blow. It's devastating." WHITE FLASH (SOUNDBITE) (SPANISH) SERGIO BARTZ, WHOSE BROTHER LUIS BARTZ HAS BEEN MISSING SINCE THE BUILDING COLLAPSED, SAYING: "Hope that there's life? I don't think they've given any of us hope. I think they're doing everything within their power to find people alive. They can't promise to find them alive. The conditions have been difficult. It's an entire building that has collapsed, the influence of the weather, everything. I think that each person, within their religion and beliefs, can hope for a miracle for them. But really, they don't tell us anything. They don't tell us anything. They're very respectful regarding information about people and of the families waiting for information. The only thing one can hope for is - well what can you hope for? Trust. Trust, at least that they find them. If they don't find them alive, at least give them the last goodbye." PEOPLE OUTSIDE CENTER MAN SITTING ON BENCH PEOPLE CARRYING SUPPLIES INTO CENTER, POLICE OFFICERS WALKING BY POLICE VEHICLES MAN FILLING WHEELBARROW WITH BOTTLES OF WATER AND BRINGING IT INTO CENTER PEOPLE CARRYING BOTTLED WATER INTO CENTER MAN CARRYING LARGE BOX, WALKING TOWARD THE REUNIFICATION CENTER
- Embargoed: 9th July 2021 20:04
- Keywords: Miami building collapse families reunification center
- Location: SURFSIDE, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES
- City: SURFSIDE, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Disaster/Accidents,United States
- Reuters ID: LVA001EIWIFRB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Families and friends of the 159 people missing after the collapse of a condo building in a Miami suburb were clinging to hope on Friday (June 25) as rescue workers sifted through a mountain of debris for signs of life, having found four dead so far.
Dozens of people were gathered at a reunification site at the Surfside Community Center on Friday, where the scene was hectic with volunteers running around and people hugging and consoling each other.
Outside the center, Sergio Bartz said he's desperate to find out what happened to his brother Luis and his family.
"We don't have any plans. We're just waiting right here...we're waiting for any, any, any miracle," Bartz said.
Luis Bartz, his wife Corina Gomez, and their daughter Vanessa have been unaccounted for since the Champlain Towers collapsed on Thursday (June 24) morning.
Luis Bartz and his family had traveled to the U.S. from their native Colombia to spend time with him after a year of separation due to concerns about coronavirus, Sergio Bartz said.
Their mother also made the trip to the U.S.
"To do all that to get together as a family and to face such a hard blow. It's devastating," Bartz said.
The Champlain Towers South had more than 130 units, about 80 of which were occupied. It had been subject to various inspections recently due to the recertification process and the adjacent building construction, Surfside Commissioner Charles Kesl told Miami television station WPLG Local 10.
(Production: Arlene Eiras, Kevin Fogarty, Deborah Gembara)
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