Stella Cattarossi, a 7-year-old Miami firefighter’s daughter, was found dead in the ruins of the Surfside apartment complex in Florida on July 1. Her father, Enrique Arango, a ten-year veteran of the Miami Fire Department, was waiting at the surface when the rescuers discovered her body.
According to Miami mayor Francis Suarez and Miami-Dade County Fire Chief Alan Cominsky, the small girl was discovered by the Urban Search and Rescue Team in Florida Task Force 2.
‘When he was made aware that we were close to where his loved one may have been, then he stood side by side with some of his other fellow firefighters,’ Miami Fire Rescue Captain Ignatius Carroll told WPLG.
‘We were able to bring her and then at least give him an opportunity to say his farewells.’
A rescuer who did not want to be identified said that they had brought Cattarossi down. On the gurney, Arango had draped his jacket over her and had laid a small American flag.
Stella shared a room with her photographer mother Graciela in apartment 501 with her family, according to WPLG.
Her grandparents, Graciela and Gino Cattarossi, shared another room, and her aunt Andrea, who was visiting from Argentina, stayed with them as well.
Officials have not confirmed whether the adults from the family have been found.
The cause of the collapse is still being looked into. According to a 2018 engineering study, the building’s ground-floor pool deck was supported by a concrete slab with severe structural degradation that required considerable repairs. The survey discovered “abundant cracking” of concrete columns, beams, and walls in the parking garage.
The head of the board of directors addressed a letter to tenants just two months before the building collapsed, indicating that structural faults detected in the 2018 inspection had “become much worse” and that major repairs would cost at least $15.5 million.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis spoke out about the devastating discovery, as well as the potential hazards posed by a tropical storm that has now turned into a category 1 hurricane to the ongoing rescue operation and remaining structures.
Raide Jadallah, a Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief, also warned the families that the search could be halted if Hurricane Elsa, now in the eastern Caribbean, delivers severe winds to South Florida, making the work too dangerous. At a meeting on Friday with loved ones hoping for good news, he told them only one voice had been heard from the rubble during the entire search, and rescuers had not been able to reach her.
The Explorer of the Seas will be home to some 600 first responders, according to Royal Caribbean. The ship, which has a capacity for almost 3,000 people, began lodging rescue personnel on Thursday and is expected to continue for the next month.
The news came a day after the hunt for survivors was put on hold for 15 hours due to worries about the structure’s stability. Widening fissures and up to a foot of movement were discovered in a huge column by crews.
Seven days have passed after the fall of Champlain South Tower, which left 22 people confirmed dead and 126 people still missing.
No one has been rescued alive since the first hours after the collapse of the 12-story Champlain Towers South condominium.
When the building collapsed, Stacie Dawn Fang, 54, was with her teen son Jonah Handler. They were on the ninth floor at the time. A man out walking his dog rushed to the scene, climbed through a mound of glass and rebar, and pledged to seek aid immediately as the boy’s small hand waved through the carnage.
Rescuers pulled the youngster from under a pile of cement and took him to the hospital on a stretcher, according to the Daily mail.
When asked about the boy’s condition, a family acquaintance, Lisa Mozloom said that he would recover.
Two ninth-floor residents were Antonio,83, and Gladys Lozano,79. On July 21, they would have celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary, having known one other for over 60 years. Unfortunately, they are also the victims of the apartment collapse.
The pair joked that neither of them wanted to die before the other because neither of them wanted to live without the other. The fact that they died together was their only relief, according to the brothers, reports WPLG-TV.