Couple married for 59 years and a father-of-two are identified as victims of Miami condo collapse: Death toll rises to five and 156 people remain missing 72 hours after the disaster

 Four people who lost their lives when a Miami condo collapsed on Thursday have been identified as rescuers continue to hunt through the rubble for the 156 people still unaccounted for.  

On Saturday authorities confirmed the death toll had risen to five after another body was found at Champlain Towers South in Surfside, near Miami Beach, as well as human remains. 

Antonio Lozano, 83, his wife Gladys Lozano, 79; Manny Lafont, 54; and Stacie Fang, 54, have been identified as the first four victims of the disaster.

Antonio Lozano, 83 and Gladys Lozano, 79 were identified through rapid DNA testing that was a match with their son Sergio Lozano

Antonio Lozano, 83 and Gladys Lozano, 79 were identified through rapid DNA testing that was a match with their son Sergio Lozano

Antonio and Gladys Lozano were identified through rapid DNA testing that was a match with their son Sergio Lozano (right)

Antonio and Gladys Lozano were identified through rapid DNA testing that was a match with their son Sergio Lozano (right)

Authorities confirmed Houston native Manuel LaFont, 54, who resided in an eighth floor apartment, died in the collapse, his body was recovered on Friday
54-year-old Manny LaFont, pictured with his former wife, Adriana, was confirmed as one of the five casualties killed in the Champlain Towers South condo collapse

Authorities confirmed Houston native Manuel LaFont, 54, who resided in an eighth floor apartment, died in the collapse, his body was recovered on Friday.

Authorities had already identified 54-year-old Stacie Fang, as one of the deceased, on Friday

Authorities had already identified 54-year-old Stacie Fang, as one of the deceased, on Friday

Pictures of Fang and her son hugging and enjoying a day at the beach were revealed by news station WPLG 10

Pictures of Fang and her son hugging and enjoying a day at the beach were revealed by news station WPLG 10

Antonio and Gladys Lozano were identified through rapid DNA testing that was a match with their son Sergio Lozano, NBC Miami confirmed. 

Antonio's body was recovered on Thursday while his wife's was recovered on Friday. 

The pair both resided on a ninth floor apartment of the 12-floor building.

Their son Sergio said that his parents had talked in the past about being scared to die without each other, NBC Miami reported. 

He told Local10.com that he had dinner with his parents just hours before the collapse. 

Lozano lives just across from his parents in another tower of the Champlain condo complex where his parents' apartment was in clear view. 

He said he was in bed when he and his wife heard the loud noises from the collapse, which he thought was from a windstorm or a tornado, he told Local10 news.

Lozano walked to his balcony to move furniture when he saw the wreckage and turned to his wife and told her: 'It's not there'' And she's yelling, 'What do you mean?' ''My parents' apartment is not there, it's gone!,'' and I just ran downstairs,' he said tearfully. 

'He called me up and said mom and dad are gone, I said what do you mean? he said the building isn't there,' the couples other son Antonio Lozano told CBS 4.  'A building falls down in a third world country where they don't have building codes and stuff, a building shouldn't collapse like that.'

The Cuban couple was set to celebrate their 59th anniversary on July 21 and had known each other for more than 60 years, Lorenzo said. 

He told Local10 prior to the confirmation of their deaths that if they were confirmed dead he is taking solace in the fact that they 'went together and went quickly.'

Authorities also confirmed Houston native Manuel LaFont, 54, who resided in an eighth floor apartment, died in the collapse. His body was recovered on Friday.  

Lafont was a Sharpstown High School graduate and is believed to have been with another Houston native, who is believed to be missing, in his eighth floor apartment at the time of the collapse, family told ABC13.com

Lafont was described as a proud father to his 10-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter he shared with his ex-wife Adriana.

The business consultant was a huge baseball fan and coached his son's baseball team, the Astros, at North Shore Park, just a mile away from the doomed condo, the Miami Herald reported. 

The father of two was also a parishioner at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Miami Beach. 

The parish's school parents gathered on Saturday to pray for LaFont and his neighbors who were still missing, the Herald reported. 

For three years LaFont worked across Latin American and the Caribbean for a manufacturing firm and led a division that focused on roadway safety that built crash cushions and moveable barriers.  

In a 2016 interview at an industry conference he explained why he got into this line of work.

'I got into this industry specifically because I don't want to sell widgets. I want to help people. I want to do something good in this world,' he said. 'When I die, I want to say that my life meant something.'

Adriana Lafont, told ABC13 on Saturday morning that she initially didn't worry when she heard about the building collapse from a relative but when she drove to the condo and saw the scene, the seriousness of the situation dawned on her. 

'It looks like a war zone or something like that,' she told a relative over the phone in a panic. 

Adriana described Lafont as a doting father to their two children and said they had just spent Father's Day together last Sunday.

Adriana told Winknews.com their kids would see Lafont for the last time when they visited him at the condo just three hours before the towers fell.

She said the condo was a place where the family made many memories together.  

'I lived in that building for 10 years,' she told ABC 13. 'My kids were born there. They learned how to swim in that pool. We had birthday parties, first communions, baptisms, so many memories.' 

Adriana also posted a touching tribute to her ex on Facebook on Saturday, hours before he was confirmed dead.

At the time she was still holding out hope her children would see him again.  

'My Manny, who was my companion for so many years, the father of my children, the one who would chide me but love me at the same time ''Adriana be on time!! Adriana don't change the plans!! Adriana, Adriana...''' she posted in Spanish. 

'I'm asking everyone for a prayer for Manny, keep the hope alive, my children will be clinging to the miracle of life,' she wrote. 'Manny, daddy, we want to hug you once again to tell you how much we love you!'

Manny Lafont pictured in his apartment. His former wife said the condo was a place where the family made many memories together

Manny Lafont pictured in his apartment. His former wife said the condo was a place where the family made many memories together

'I'm asking everyone for a prayer for Manny, keep the hope alive, my children will be clinging to the miracle of life,' she wrote. 'Manny, daddy, we want to hug you once again to tell you how much we love you!' Manny Lafont's former wife Adrian posted

'I'm asking everyone for a prayer for Manny, keep the hope alive, my children will be clinging to the miracle of life,' she wrote. 'Manny, daddy, we want to hug you once again to tell you how much we love you!' Manny Lafont's former wife Adrian posted

Manny Lafont would see his two children for the last time when they visited him at the condo just three hours before the towers fell, his ex-wife said

Manny Lafont would see his two children for the last time when they visited him at the condo just three hours before the towers fell, his ex-wife said

Her family released a statement paying tribute to her on Friday afternoon saying: 'There are no words to describe the tragic loss of our beloved Stacie'

Her family released a statement paying tribute to her on Friday afternoon saying: 'There are no words to describe the tragic loss of our beloved Stacie'

Authorities had already identified 54-year-old Stacie Fang, as one of the deceased, on Friday. 

Fang's body was recovered on Thursday and she was the first victim publicly identified.   

Fang, a New York native, was pulled from the debris and rushed to Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, but died of her injuries soon after.  

Fang's 15-year-old son Jonah Handler survived the tragedy after being trapped under the frame of his bed. 

He was dramatically rescued from the rubble with the help of a passing dog walker and as he was pulled from the rubble he begged rescuers 'please don't leave me,' the New York Times report

Fang's family released a statement paying tribute to her on Friday afternoon. 

'There are no words to describe the tragic loss of our beloved Stacie. The members of the Fang and Handler family would like to express our deepest appreciation for the outpouring of sympathy, compassion and support we have received,' the statement said.

'The many heartfelt words of encouragement and love have served as a much needed source of strength during this devastating time. On behalf of Stacie's son, Jonah, we ask you now to please respect our privacy to grieve and to try to help each other heal.' 

Pictures of Fang and her son hugging and enjoying a day at the beach were revealed by news station WPLG 10.   

After three days of search efforts officials said on Saturday evening that rescue workers have discovered a body and human remains, raising the confirmed death toll to five people. 

Officials have asked family members to submit DNA samples to help identify the human remains that they find. There are live DNA testing facilities on site to process identities.

As of Saturday evening, 156 people remain missing and 130 people have been accounted for. 

Meanwhile, as search efforts continued a video posted online shows a woman, who was not identified, making an emotional plea to DeSantis to do more at a meeting between officials and relatives at a 'family reunification center' set up at a hotel close to the scene of the tragedy. 

The woman slammed the current rescue mission saying it is 'not enough' and questioned how 'nobody has emerged dead or alive' from the wreckage of the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside, Miami Beach, more than 60 hours after the collapse.

She accused the Florida governor of keeping up appearances saying he is 'going to take a nice picture' while breaking 'promises' about the ongoing efforts to find those still unaccounted for.  

'It's impossible that in four days nobody has emerged dead or alive,' she said during the tense meeting between officials and families desperately waiting for any news about their loved ones.

Workers search in the rubble at the Champlain Towers South Condo Saturday morning as hopes fade of finding people alive

Workers search in the rubble at the Champlain Towers South Condo Saturday morning as hopes fade of finding people alive

Emergency crews search the debris for signs of life Saturday. No survivors or victims have been found from the collapse site in close to two days, since the bodies of three victims were pulled from the wreckage overnight Thursday

Emergency crews search the debris for signs of life Saturday. No survivors or victims have been found from the collapse site in close to two days, since the bodies of three victims were pulled from the wreckage overnight Thursday

'It's not enough. Imagine if your children were in there. You're going to leave here and you're going to take a nice picture, and I know you're doing everything you can but it's not enough.' 

Officials were able to pull two additional bodies from the rubble two days after the bodies of three victims were pulled from the wreckage overnight Thursday. 

Police have identified the families of three of the victims and are not releasing the names of the deceased at this time.   

On Saturday, officials said that rescue efforts were stalled by a fire in the rubble that was spreading and releasing smoke, but that first responders were continuing their search for survivors. 

While the search continues, questions also continue to mount over the cause of the collapse and whether it could have been avoided. 

A building official has said he was on the roof of the condo tower just 14 hours before it collapsed and saw 'no inordinate amount of equipment or materials' that would cause the fall, amid speculation that recent roof repairs may have been a contributing factor. 

However, the 12-story condo tower had been flagged for 'major structural damage' to the pool deck area and underground parking garage in a damning report almost three years before it collapsed, it has been revealed.  

The mother of a woman missing in the Miami condo tower has blasted Governor Ron DeSantis and the rescue efforts for not moving fast enough and claimed Israeli specialists have not been allowed to assist in the search for the 156 people still missing in the rubble more than 60 hours on from the tragedy

The mother of a woman missing in the Miami condo tower has blasted Governor Ron DeSantis and the rescue efforts for not moving fast enough and claimed Israeli specialists have not been allowed to assist in the search for the 156 people still missing in the rubble more than 60 hours on from the tragedy

The woman accused the Florida governor of keeping up appearances saying he is 'going to take a nice picture' while breaking 'promises' about the ongoing efforts to find those still unaccounted for
Governor DeSantis deflected the issue onto the rescue crews on the ground: 'It's an operational decision'

The woman accused the Florida governor of keeping up appearances saying he is 'going to take a nice picture' while breaking 'promises' about the ongoing efforts to find those still unaccounted for. Governor DeSantis deflected the issue onto the rescue crews on the ground: 'It's an operational decision'


With hope fading for the 156 people still unaccounted for, footage of the emotional meeting with the families of those missing showed the desperate mother begging with officials to get rid of 'red tape' to speed up the search as she said her daughter was in 'perfect health' so could still be alive beneath the debris.   

'My daughter is 26 years old, in perfect health,' she said as her voice cracked. 

'She could make it out of there... days have gone by.' 

She added: 'It's not enough. I'm not an engineer, I'm not a fire marshal, I don't know the way to do this.

'I'm a mother, I don't know the best way to go about this... but it's not enough.'  

The woman claimed that fire and rescue teams from Israel were being stopped from assisting in the mission by the state and local officials. 

'Governor, fire chief, mayor I was promised yesterday and everybody else was promised that the Israelis would be allowed in and that they are here,' she said.

'I have since been informed they are not here and they are not working. You promised us... Time has gone by and promises are not being kept.'

The mother directed her comments at DeSantis saying the matter was under his control.

'Governor, it's in your control as I understand. You promised us and they are not here,' she said. 

'I want an answer, not a Band-Aid, not a Tylenol, not someone to massage my pain.'

Confrontation begins at 3:30 in below video

DeSantis remained silent for much of the exchange leaving Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah to respond to the concerns.

Jadallah explained that US rescue teams are just as qualified as Israeli teams and that it is not a matter of resource - but the precarious nature of the collapse site, meaning only a certain number of people can be on the debris at any given time. 

'We are just as qualified as the Israel teams. We have an additional thousand just as qualified.

'It doesn't matter if they're from Switzerland, from America, from Israel. I assure you we're all certified the same way and we all want to get the individuals that are under the debris out.

'But I can assure you that the number of personnel who can physically fit on this pile can only be a specific number.

'We can't put a thousand people on this pile.'

The woman directed her questions at DeSantis again.   

'You gave us a promise and you're not fulfiling it,' she said. 'Red tape is not important when my daughter is dying.'  

When the governor finally piped up, he deflected the issue back onto the operational crews on the ground who are working round the clock to try to find survivors.   

'The state is not preventing that at all. They're welcome to come. It's an operational decision,' he said.

'If the Israeli team, if they can use that, they have 100 percent support from the state to do so.'

Construction equipment is used to remove rubble at the site of a collapsed building in Surfside, Florida, Saturday

Construction equipment is used to remove rubble at the site of a collapsed building in Surfside, Florida, Saturday 

A makeshift memorial is set up near the collapse site as 156 remain unaccounted for and four have been confirmed dead

A makeshift memorial is set up near the collapse site as 156 remain unaccounted for and four have been confirmed dead

Rescue teams are seen on the scene of the condo tower Saturday around the pool deck area which an expert warned was in need of repairs

Rescue teams are seen on the scene of the condo tower Saturday around the pool deck area which an expert warned was in need of repairs 

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava also added that 'if they come we will deploy them.' 

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has sent members of the Israel Defense Force's Home Front Command search-and-rescue team to Florida to help in the search for survivors.  

Rivlin tweeted on Friday that he was praying for the victims of the tragedy.

'We hope for the recovery of the survivors and send heartfelt condolences to those who have lost family members,' Rivlin wrote on Twitter.  

More than two dozen among the 156 unaccounted for are Jewish, according to Maor Elbaz-Starinsky, the acting consul general of Israel in Miami. 

Officials said Saturday the search and rescue mission has been increasingly hampered by raging fires burning beneath the surface of the rubble, sending thick smoke into the air.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin tweeted on Friday that he was praying for the victims of the tragedy

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin tweeted on Friday that he was praying for the victims of the tragedy

Firefighters have been unable to locate the source of the fire and have taken to digging a trench in the rubble away from the flames that rescue teams can safely search for victims and survivors around. 

With questions mounting over the cause of the disaster, Surfside building official Jim McGuinness revealed Friday in an emergency town meeting he had inspected the roof just 14 hours before the building crumbled.   

McGuinness was inspecting work of replacing roof anchors, which are where window cleaners attach their equipment, reported the Palm Beach Post.

He insisted there 'was no inordinate amount of equipment or materials or anything on that roof that caught my building official's eye that would make it alarming as to this place collapsing.

Officials released an October 2018 report overnight Friday on the Surfside, Florida town website which revealed a consultant engineer warned back then that the Champlain Towers South building was in need of numerous repairs around the base of the structure 'in a timely fashion.'

The structural field survey report specifically raised concerns about the pool deck area, in which the waterproofing was failing, and the underground parking garage which was riddled with 'abundant' cracking. 

Despite the apparent urgency of some of the recommendations, an attorney for the resident-led condo association told the New York Times this week that repairs were only about to begin - more than two and a half years after the inspection. 

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava has vowed to 'get to the bottom of what happened' while local officials called for the evacuation of residents living in the block's sister building.  

An alarming report released by officials overnight Friday reveals an engineer warned about structural issues on the condo tower three years before it collapsed

An alarming report released by officials overnight Friday reveals an engineer warned about structural issues on the condo tower three years before it collapsed 

The 12-story Miami condo had been flagged for 'major structural damage' to the pool deck area and underground parking garage in a damning report almost three years before it collapsed early Thursday, killing at least five

The 12-story Miami condo had been flagged for 'major structural damage' to the pool deck area and underground parking garage in a damning report almost three years before it collapsed early Thursday, killing at least five

Crews on Saturday continue to search for survivors marking the third day rescue teams have worked round the clock

Crews on Saturday continue to search for survivors marking the third day rescue teams have worked round the clock

Couple married for 59 years and a father-of-two are identified as victims of Miami condo collapse: Death toll rises to five and 156 people remain missing 72 hours after the disaster Couple married for 59 years and a father-of-two are identified as victims of Miami condo collapse: Death toll rises to five and 156 people remain missing 72 hours after the disaster Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 04:23 Rating: 5

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