Tribute ceremony, one year after the collapse of Surfside

The town of Surfside, Florida, on Friday held a memorial service for the 98 victims of an oceanfront building collapse exactly a year ago, attended by loved ones, members of rescue teams or of political figures.

Tribute ceremony, one year after the collapse of Surfside

The town of Surfside, Florida, on Friday held a memorial service for the 98 victims of an oceanfront building collapse exactly a year ago, attended by loved ones, members of rescue teams or of political figures.

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The ceremony took place where the 12-story building partially collapsed in the middle of the night on June 24, 2021.

As relatives of victims took turns talking, participants wept or hugged.

“I know what it is to experience a deep loss. And after a year, time hasn't healed my broken heart. Like each of you, I carry this emptiness within me,” said Kevin Spiegel, who lost his wife Judy, 65, that day.

Raquel Oliveira spoke of her husband Alfredo Leone, 48, and their five-year-old child, Lorenzo, who both died in the tragedy.

“Exactly 365 days ago my house blew up, collapsed with everything and everyone in it except me. It took two weeks for my family to be found”, she was moved, demanding “answers”.

The causes of this disaster have not yet been established with certainty, but the first elements of the investigation had revealed that the structure of the building seemed in places to be degraded.

Among the audience were First Lady Jill Biden and State Governor Ron DeSantis.

On Thursday, a judge approved more than $1 billion in compensation for survivors and families of victims.

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