SURFSIDE – In the year following the Champlain Towers South collapse, which killed 98 people, CBS Miami produced three hourlong documentaries examining different aspects of the tragedy.
The first, which aired on October 20, 2021, was called "Bonded by Tragedy: 30 Days In Surfside."
It tells the story of the anguish and anger felt by the families of those killed in as they waited for news about the fate of their loved ones, and the strain on the men and women whose job it was to keep them informed.
Bonded By Tragedy focuses on the efforts Assistant Miami Dade Fire Chief Ray Jadallah, Miami Dade Firefighter Maggie Castro, and Miami Dade Police Commander Stephanie Stoiloff as they met twice a day, every day with the families to brief them on what was initially a search for survivors but became the grim task of recovery their remains.
"There's no script for this," Jadallah said. "That's why it made it so difficult, so different. And even if there was a script, you wouldn't be able to follow it."
Set inside the room where the majority of family briefings took place, the film uses both never before seen videos recorded by family members inside the briefings and new interviews conducted in the weeks after the last victim was identified.
The second documentary premiered on June 22, 2022, and was called "Surviving Surfside: Deven's Story," which told the little-known tale of 15-year-old Deven Gonzalez and her mother, Angela, who were thrown from their ninth story condo when the building split open.
Falling more than five stories onto the debris pile, the two women recount those fateful moments that also claimed the life of Deven's father, Edgar.
For the first time, the firefighters who found Deven and Angela tell the story of their rescue and how Deven actually saved her mother's life.
CBS Miami has followed Deven and Angela's recovery since the collapse, as Deven attempts to overcome her injuries and once again become a competitive volleyball player.
The third special, aired on June 23, 2022, on the eve of the first anniversary of the collapse.
"Surviving Surfside: Year One," was an in-depth look at how families who lost loved ones have coped with the most devastating moment in their lives.
CBS Miami spent months meeting with families, developing their trust and ultimately presenting their stories in ways no had done before.
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