Florida Garage Collapse: Third Victim Dies as Hope Dims for Trapped Man
(DORAL, Fla.) — A third victim of a South Florida parking garage collapse died early Thursday as rescue workers continue to comb the rubble in what is now being called a recovery effort for a final victim at the Miami-Dade college campus.
Part of the under-construction parking garage in Doral, Fla., collapsed around 11:40 a.m. Wednesday, initially killing two and injuring at least seven, all of them contractors. Juan Samuel, the third victim, was pulled from the rubble early Thursday in a dramatic rescue, but died at a Miami trauma center, police spokesman Javier Baez said.
Police are now doubtful they will find a final missing construction worker alive after an intensive overnight search.
Miami Dade Police officials told ABC News their mission has shifted from search and rescue to recovery.
Overnight, rescuers pulled construction worker Samuel from the pancaked layers of the parking garage, after he spent 12 hours buried beneath five floors of collapsed concrete. He was found buried waist-deep inside his truck, and workers were forced to amputate his legs to remove him, authorities said.
Searchers at the garage at Miami-Dade Community College’s west campus worked feverishly overnight, delicately picking through the rubble in a race to find the last missing person, Robert Budhoo, an electrical contractor whose family says has still not answered his phone.
“He’s the best dad in the world,” his daughter Tasha Bagwandeen said through tears. “We need you guys to find him, please.”
Hours earlier on Wednesday, firefighters squeezed between steel beams to save another man who had also been pinned. Police say at least 12 contractors were working on the new garage at the college when it collapsed around noon Wednesday.
No students were injured in collapse. The college’s campus will stay closed for the remainder of the week.
It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the collapse of the partially-finished structure.
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