Surfside memorial honoring 98 lives lost presented ahead of 1-year condo collapse
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It was almost a year ago that Champlain Towers South collapsed, killing 98 people. Just ahead of the one-year mark, a memorial was presented to honor the lives lost.
Spanning the length of the block where the South tower stood, you'll now see a banner, dawning the names and ages of the 98 people killed that day.
"As far as closure, I don't think it will ever happen. It would help some, but I think my real closure and wrongful death closure will happen when we know who's at fault," says Pablo Langesfeld, who lost his daughter, Nicole, and other family members in the Surfside Tragedy.
It was a somber but important day for the victim's families. The memorial, now a place for people from all over the world to pay their respects.
"The mission continues to get to the bottom of what happened here and to make sure the lives that were lost and the lives that continue but suffer, are honored," says Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
Just yesterday, a nearly $1 billion tentative settlement was announced for the Surfside victims and their families. Pablo Langesfeld says he's thankful for the quick outcome, but his main focus is on the criminal investigation.
"The only response I'm getting is that it's under investigation. We're wishing for a good job from the state attorney," he says.
Surfside Mayor Shlomo Danzinger says the banner will serve as a tribute of respect and remembrance of the lives lost and the families impacted.
"I passed by the site so many times and it didn't trigger anything. I didn't stop to contemplate, and I wanted to make sure that's what people do," says Danzinger.
The memorial is temporary. Eventually a permanent one will be installed once it's decided what will be built on the land. Langesfeld says, until the investigation is complete, nothing should be touched.
"We got they key evidence over there so it should stay until the whole investigation is finished," he explains.
The State Attorney's Office says a factual cause of the collapse must be determined before they can come to a conclusion in the criminal case.
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