NJ community on edge after couple disappears in collapsed Miami tower
As the search continued Friday for survivors of a collapsed 12-story condo near Miami, the New Jersey township of Lakewood is waiting to hear about a young couple visiting a resident of the building.
The couple was identified Friday afternoon as Benny and Malky Weisz, who were visiting Harry Rosenberg, the woman's father, according to The Lakewood Scoop.
"This is a rescue operation not recovery. People have survived for days under rubble," U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J. 4th District, said Friday.
Smith said that he reached out to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ chief of staff and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fa. to accept an apparent offer by an Israeli search and rescue team to join the mission.
As of Friday morning, 159 people were unaccounted for and four are confirmed dead, according to Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. None of the dead were identified.
"The reports of a Lakewood couple missing makes this tragedy really hit home. We're praying for all involved including the first responders who have a daunting task ahead," Lakewood police Chief Greg Meyer told New Jersey 101.5.
Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles told The Scoop he was "awestruck" by the first responders trying to find survivors in the rubble.
GoFundMe has created a special page with verified accounts to assist all those affected by the collapse.
Miami-Dade Mayor Cava said rescuers were at “extreme risk” going through the rubble.
"Debris is falling on them as they do their work. We have structural engineers on site to ensure that they will not be injured, but they are proceeding because they are so motivated and they are taking extraordinary risk on the site every day,” she said.
With searchers using saws and jackhammers to look for pockets large enough to hold a person, Cava said there was still hope of finding people alive.
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