NEW YORK - The death toll of the Surfside building collapse in the Miami area now stands at 11, while more than 150 people are still unaccounted for, including brothers Brad and Gary Cohen. Both of them are medical doctors and New York natives.
"For a number of years, Brad lived in my house every Shabbat. We studied together a lot," Rabbi Yakov Saacks said. "It was very intense times, Brad is just brilliant at whatever he touches."
The rabbi leads the Chai Center in Dix Hills, Suffolk County, Long Island, where Brad had been a long-standing member before moving to Florida. The Cohen brothers are among several of the victims unaccounted for who are from New York or have strong ties to the area.
Rescue crews are working tirelessly to find more victims in the debris.
"These numbers are very fluid and they will continue to change," Cava said. "I want to provide you, as we have done and will do, the best updates as soon as we have them."
The cause of the collapse is still under investigation but a 2018 report found structural damage to the property and recommended millions of dollars in repairs. Questions are also being raised about the sister tower next door, where tenants are still living. Engineers are set to do a full review of the building. The county will conduct an audit of all buildings that are 40 years and older.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida said there are many more buildings similar to this one up the coastline.
"Did this only impact just this building?" she said.
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