07:37 GMT25 July 2021
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    On Sunday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said the death toll in the apartment building collapse in Surfside, Florida, had soared to nine, while 152 people remain unaccounted for.

    Jake Samuelson, the grandson of a couple still missing in the Miami condo collapse, told the news network WPLG Local 10 that his family had received calls from his grandparents' landline, but that there is no human sound on the other end of the line.

    He said they had received a total of 16 calls since the 12-storey building collapsed last Thursday, and that the family had been shocked when the first call came later that day.

    An aerial view showing a partially collapsed building in Surfside near Miami Beach, Florida, U.S., June 24, 2021.
    © REUTERS / MARCO BELLO
    An aerial view showing a partially collapsed building in Surfside near Miami Beach, Florida, U.S., June 24, 2021.
    "We were all sitting there in the living room, my whole family, Diane, my mother, and we were just shocked and we kind of thought nothing of it because we answered, and it was static", Samuelson said.

    He added that they are "trying to rationalise what is happening here" in order to "get answers", something that prompted his family to hire a detective to clarify the situation, but to no avail.

    Samuelson also said that by Friday afternoon, the calls had stopped, while calls back to the number are followed by a busy signal.

    His grandparents, Arnie, 87, and Myriam, 81, Notkin, lived in apartment 302 of the Champlain Towers South near Miami Beach before the condominium building's partial collapse in the early hours of 24 June.

    It remains unknown how many occupants were in the building at the time of the tragic accident. According to US media reports, an engineering inspection of the Miami condo warned the owners of major structural damage and recommended repairs almost three years ago.

    As of Sunday, at least nine people had been confirmed dead, while 152 others are still missing in the Miami condo collapse.

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    Tags:
    situation, family, collapse, building, Miami, Florida, US
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