Indian American family among over 150 missing in Florida building collapse
Vishal Patel (42), his wife Bhavna Patel (38) and their one-year-old daughter Aishani Patel are believed to be among the missing in the Champion Towers South Condo collapse. According to media reports, Bhavna Patel is four months pregnant.
An Indian-American couple and their one-year-old child are among more than 150 people still missing in the rubble of the 12-story residential building in Florida, which collapse on June 24.
Vishal Patel (42), his wife, Bhavna Patel (38) and their one-year-old daughter Aishani Patel are believed to be among the missing in the Champion Towers South Condo collapse. According to media reports, Bhavna Patel is four months pregnant.
The couple's niece Sarina told CNN that family members have arrived at Surfside, Florida, to give DNA samples.
She said that the family was at home when the collapse happened and that she last spoke to them on June 20.
"I had called them on Fathers Day to tell them that I had just booked a flight to come to visit. They had been asking me to come to see their home and to meet their daughter. I haven't met her due to the pandemic," Sarina said.
The family is going through disbelief and hope, Sarina told CNN, adding that the family is praying for a miracle.
So far, five bodies have been removed from the rubble even as aggressive search-and-rescue efforts continue.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told media persons that rescuers are using a grid approach to search the debris and have deployed sonar, cameras and K-9 resources to look for survivors.
Media reports said that the chief building official for the town of Surfside had told residents that the building was in very good shape a month after he reviewed a report in November 2018 from a contractor that flagged major structural damage.
The report noted that even though some of the damage was minor, most of the concrete deterioration needed to be repaired in a timely fashion. It also noted that structural repairs were necessary to maintain the structural integrity of the building.