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Surfside family still mourns, a year on

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2 個月前

STORY: UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER SAYING: You're in your apartment right now?

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER SAYING: Yes, but half the building's gone.

It's one year since the tragic and deadly collapse of a residential building in Surfside, Florida.

Ninety-eight people were killed outright when the Champlain Towers South condo crumbled in the early hours of June 24th 2021.

One of those victims was 26-year-old attorney Nicole Langesfeld.

Her father describes her as a 'piece of art' because of her beauty and her smile.

Martin is her brother:

"We started to count the floors trying to find the apartment and we saw that half of my sisters apartment was still standing. So, you begin to make scenarios up in your head and just hope that they were in the other half of the apartment that was standing and 15 days later we came to notice that, we got a knock on our door that they recovered my sister.”

Martin, and his father Pablo, have been fighting for justice for Nicole and her husband Luis Sadovnic, who also died.

The cause of the collapse is still under investigation by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

But court documents, emails and other records released by officials at the time tell a story of repeated concerns about structural problems in the 12-story building.

The inquiry seeks to find out the technical cause of the collapse, and will not determine whether there was a criminal act or violation of regulation.

PABLO LANGESFELD: “No one has been held accountable. No one is taking any responsibility. No one is taking any liability. Not even a percentage of liability.”

MARTIN LANGESFELD: “It’s been one year ... This is an official document by the state attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle who has declined to meet with us, with many families countless times. It’s around 40 pages. The first sentence of the document speaking in the collapse has the wrong date."

The state attorney's office later told Reuters it's held Zoom meetings with some victims' families.

This week a Florida judge approved a $1.2 billion settlement with insurers, developers and other defendants in the case.

But Nicole's father had already vowed to fight on:

"My daughter, she was an attorney. Since she was five she wanted justice. She was five. She become a very good lawyer. To seek justice, this is what we want. Whoever is being held responsible has to pay."

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