As many as 151 people, including an Indian-American couple and their one-year-old-daughter, are missing after a residential building collapsed in Florida in the United States on Thursday, CNN reported on Monday.
The toll in the incident rose to 10 on Monday as rescuers recovered another body from the rubble of the Champlain Towers complex in Florida’s Surfside town.
Family members of Vishal and Bhavna Patel have tried contacting them multiple times. Their niece Sarina Patel told CNN that she last spoke to the couple on June 20, four days before the building collapse.
Vishal Patel’s cousin Robin spoke to them the night before the building collapse, Sky News reported. A friend of the couple described them as “very loving family” closely associated with the religious community of the town, according to the BBC. “Aishani [their daughter] was like the little baby of the temple,” Umma Kannayan said. “It feels like you’ve lost a part of yourself.”
Among those missing after the building collapse are also citizens of Venezuela, Colombia, Uruguay Paraguay and other countries. This has prompted an international rescue effort.
A team of rescuers from Israel arrived at the site on Sunday, CNN reported. Rescuers from Mexico were expected to reach the town on Monday morning. More than 400 rescuers are involved in the operation.
Rescuers are working 12 hours each day to locate survivors, Florida State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis told CNN.
“They come from Tallahassee, they come from Orlando, they come from Tampa, they come from Israel, they come from Mexico, they come from Jacksonville, they come from Fort Myers, they come and they leave their families to come and work around the clock,” he added. “The reward is the life they save.”