tv New Day With John Berman and Brianna Keilar CNN June 25, 2021 5:00am-6:00am PDT
>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. dr. sanjay gupta in surf side, florida, about a block away from the heartbreaking building collapse. 30 hours now roughly since the building collapsed and desperate search and rescue missions are underway. there is going to be a news conference from officials here shortly. we'll take you to that. some grim news recently that four people have now been confirmed to have died. this is the work that is ongoing. i'm joined now by the spiegels. kevin, michael, josh. thank you for joining me. i know this is a tough day and i'm going to explain why. you live in that building. >> yes. >> for five years with your wife judy. >> yes. >> you were out of town but your wife was still in the building. >> correct. >> i'm so sorry.
i just -- i can't even, i can't even begin to wrap my head around this. tell me -- >> i was there this weekend. we had the most wonderful, wonderful weekend with our granddaughter scarlet. it was wonderful. and how from one second to the next second, a dramatic change in life. it's unbelievable. >> tell me about your wife. >> judy was a philanthropist. she raised money for the children's hospital, new york westchester medical college, children's hospital. then the ehrlanger hospital in tennessee. she was a wife, she was a mother, and she was a grandmother. and she was unbelievable. she was full of life. she looked half her age. she was so fit, so thin, and she
really kept -- she was the glue that kept our family together. >> josh, how did you find out? you're living in orlando. you're a doctor. you're a trauma surgeon yourself. tell me what happened. >> i've seen a lot of trauma, i've seen a lot of bad stuff. i got a call from my sister and my dad and couldn't believe what i heard. i immediately drove down here to meet my sister while my dad and my brother mike here were flying in. we went to the community center, which was very nice, everyone there was very supportive. as with any of these types of situations, very chaotic. and we are hopeful that today will be the day that they find our mom, and that she's brought home to us safe.
>> how are you going about collecting information, kevin? are you getting information from officials? >> it's really not -- and i don't mean or think it's their fault. it's an evolving scene as you can see behind us. today we were a little shocked of the amount of fires that are breaking out in the debris and the smoke and the water. that's not a good sign. so, but we're dealing day by day. we're now finding more and more people and i hope and pray she's found soon and everything is good. but it's not a promising sight if you've been here. >> i'm sorry. and i don't, i don't mean to talk about this in clinical terms by any means. it's very hard to reconcile what we're seeing behind here with all that we're hearing. michael, tell me about your mom. >> my mom is the greatest person in the world. she would call us almost every day just to check in on us.
she's just the most amazing person in the world and we would do anything to have her back. >> so, obviously you were out of town. you came back. you tried to call your wife. she's not answering. you hear about what's happened to the building. what do you do next? you obviously fly back. >> well, i was in watsonville community hospital. i woke up in the middle of the night as normal older gentlemen do in the middle of the night, wake up. i looked at my phone. i had an email from surf side about a traffic disturbance just to alert everybody -- i noticed it was our building. and that was the disturbing part. and unfortunately, i saw the building and the part of the building that was missing, that's where our apartment is because i live there. i knew exactly, i knew it has to be.
so that's when i called all the kids. i got into my car and i drove to the san francisco airport and flew to atlanta. met michael, who came from north carolina. we met and we were here yesterday afternoon and we went right to the community center to meet everybody. >> i think about what has happened here, and part of me sort of wonders were there any signs? this is a building that you lived in. i mean, we live in buildings -- in this country, you just don't expect something like this. >> this is a fairly modern building. it's only 40 years old. if you look at some of the buildings around us, the one next door is actually brand-new. but the one next to it is probably 50 or 60 years old. and it appears to be fine. but this past weekend there was some water in the garage, and it was coming up. whether that was the real sign that there was something wrong, i don't know.
you know, it would be interesting to find out what the manager did or didn't do that they were supposed to do to find out what was going on. >> yeah, i imagine some of those answers will be forthcoming. but right now we're in the middle of this search and rescue mission. can you tell me about your neighbors, people who lived in the building? what kind of people were they? >> you know, it was a vacation type of building. we've lived there full time. but when we purchased it, we were living in chattanooga, tennessee. this was our get away place. plus we had two grandchildren here. a lot of people were in and out. i was actually a little surprised to find out that there were still -- there's 99 missing people in the building. that to me is a lot. so i think more and more because of covid, more and more people started to actually live in the building. >> people all over the world are paying attention right now to what's happening here. what do you want them to know about this place, this community? >> i think that, you know,
maintenance in the building and all the politics are part of a condominium where people actually have a voice and a vote. deferring maintenance, your maintenance going up is probably not the right decision for everybody. so my real decision -- my real recommendation to you all is, you know, to invest in the infrastructure, to invest in maintenance in your building so something horrific like this does p doesn't occur. >> i think it's such an important point. the earthquake in haiti, there are no building codes, very minimal. it was less of a surprise here. this is something people are going to be paying attention to for a long time. i'm trying to put myself sort of in your position, and i really appreciate you talking to us. i've got to be honest, i don't know that i would have been able to do it right now. it's got to be so -- what is the sentiment right now? >> you know, the thing is we're
here, not for us, we're here for judy. and she would be part of this. she is the one who always led, connected to the communities that we lived in. i was always in the hospital working. she was always working with the community and bringing everybody together. she was a wonderful person, and all the texts from everybody, from bardsly to westchester, to southampton to surf side, chattanooga, memphis, warren, ohio -- she is -- she touched so many lives over the years. that was amazing, and that's who she was. and she would want us to be here. >> i've just been watching you guys. i have three kids of my own. i can tell you, you're such a tight family. people are praying for you, they're praying for judy, you know. keep talking to us.
if you learn anything, please tell you. we'll do the same. i'm glad you got a chance to talk about her. john, these are the stories that are happening here on the ground. unfortunately there's so many of them, but there's a lot of hope still and optimism as we see these search and rescue missions continue. >> yeah, look, dealing with in explicable loss, literally no explanation for a loss like this. and i love what the spiegels had to say. they're there and they have hope because judy would be there and have hope right now. they're acting like they think she would be acting under these circumstances. please give them our love here, sanjay. thank you. this morning we are also hearing from the miami-dade fire rescue chief on the ongoing search. this is what he just had to say. >> we've been here nonstop, 24-hour operation, and a haste effort of trying to search and find as many victims we possibly can.
there's always hope. you know, i've been in florida, in haiti, collapse in barbados and other collapses that we've been at, and there's always that hope and that's why we're here. we fight 24/7, we don't stop. you know, when it gets to that point that it's just incompatible with hope, we'll reach that point. but right now there is always hope and that's what we're here to do, we're here to rescue as many people as we still can. >> it is hard to reconcile some of the images that we're seeing. the work that is going on there with what we just heard from the spiegels. i mean, you don't think of sights like that and think of people who are still trapped, people who still need to be rescued, but that is what is happening. rosa, it's so tough. i mean, i think sometimes we think about these things from a macro level, and then you hear from the spiegels, kevin and josh and michael, his wife,
their mom is still in there. i know that that's obvious to people, but it's just very hard to process right now. this is real. this is happening, and people haven't seen something like this here for sometime. we are getting a better sense of exactly what the -- what happened to the building and what it looks like, right? >> we are. michael was able to obtain photos from the fire marshal that i think gives us a better idea because they're close-up photos. we have them so we can show them to our viewers. and, sanjay, if you just look at these photos, you're able to see how, when officials describe this pancake collapse, you'll see the layers, almost like layers in a cake. you see the concrete floors. you see the balconies. you see patio furniture. and then the mangled wires and also the dangling concrete.
and even people's belongings still dangling. and like you said, this gives us a better idea of structurally what it looks like. but really what people are going through right now, like the spiegels and looking at this and looking at what's behind us, that's where the real pain is right now because they look at these images and they think of their loved ones. >> let's listen to the news conference for a second. i want to come back and talk to you afterward. >> it's going to be in people's faces. i'll get it.
>> good morning, good morning. thank you for being here. the format is going to be the same. for those that weren't here yesterday, we're going to start with english, then immediately to spanish, then questions and answers. we have the mayor of miami-dade county. >> so, good morning, everyone. unfortunately this has been a tragic night. we do have 120 people now accounted for, which is very, very good news. but our unaccounted for number has gone up to 159. in addition, we can tragically report the death count is now
four. i want to be very clear about the numbers. they are very fluid. we'll continue to update you as we have them, but we have confirmed four deaths. the search and rescue team worked throughout the night and it was a very active scene. from above and below. and we also brought heavy machinery onto the site to assist with the operation, and so we are very, very grateful that our president has now authorized fema support, and we are joined here today by our fema representative who can tell you more. and that is going to assist us in our recovery efforts as well to assist the families. we have the resources for the families at the family reunification center. we've been actively providing them everything that they need. food, shelter, cash to assist
with their basic needs, and grief counseling. obviously a very critical component as we move forward, as people are anxiously waiting for news of their loved ones. at this time we have received all of the donations of goods and volunteers that we can handle at this time. we are very, very grateful for everyone who has contributed, and we will let people know as the need presents. but we do have two funding sites available for cash donations. support surf side.org and chesed, two sites that are receiving donations. so as we work tirelessly and stand united, local, municipal, county, state and now federal support, we are going to work as hard as we can to continue our search and rescue effort.
that is our priority. that is where we're focused. and protecting our first responders who are on the scene. so, thank you, everyone. god bless. [ speaking foreign language ] >> they are obviously doing this news conference in spanish, now. we're going to dip back in when they go into english. you heard 159 people unaccounted for, it was 99 before.
>> we were expecting this, sanjay. fire rescue telling us yesterday that they were asking family members to fill out wellness forms, and this is the outcome of this as more of these families figure out where their loved ones are, we were expecting expe expecting these numbers to go up. unfortunately the death toll has increased to four. i think about those families at the reunification center. there's families there who are hoping for good news and still have hope, and there's three families overnight who received the news that their loved one has perished. >> yeah, i mean, i imagine what it must be like for them. obviously they want to continue to remain hopeful. we're going on 30 hours now roughly since the building has collapsed. it's a very, it's a very tough thing right now for these rescuers, these conversations that are happening with families. we were showing those pictures, i don't know if we have those pictures. you really got a sense that this was completely unexpected. we knew that. but it was kind of like life
interrupted. you see their things. you see clothes. i look over the shoulder, i still see the balconies that are standing close to the collapsed towers, things that are hanging there. this really seemed to come out of nowhere. >> you think of the hour this happened. if this happened in the middle of the day when people are outside enjoying the beach, doing something else, but this was in the middle of the night at 1:30 in the morning. and so most people were probably, the ones that were inside and were living here, were probably inside their unit. if you look behind us, you can see they're using claws to move portions of the building. that's what you're hearing, that's what's happening behind us. we think about the painstaking work that the firefighters are doing, risking their lives, hoping to give news. >> let's listen back in. >> the members from florida task force 1 to echo the message of
our great mayor. we are pulling additional resources from fema to assist, and to provide relief for some of those individuals. this is coupled with the firefighters already on scene, bringing the total of 130 firefighters through this operation. as you saw that we did have the fire reignite, but it did not slow down our search and rescue operations. however, during our search and rescue operations, we did encounter three victims that were deceased. they were removed. and as she had mentioned, we bring the total to four fatalities. again, search and rescue operations still continue. we have heavy machinery on scene to start pulling some of the superficial metal from above as we look for additional voids from above. again, search and rescue still continues from below as we tunnel. using light machinery. thank you.
>> thank you, chief. we'll provide spanish. we'll have officer benidas from miami fire. [ speaking foreign language ] >> when they're conducting this news conference in spanish, we'll talk about this for a second. when you see the numbers change like that, what does that really mean? are these family members, so we now have 159 unaccounted for. are these families that have called in to public information and said, my family was also in there, we can't get hold of them? is that what's driving the numbers? >> that's our understanding. we understand from officials that we talked to yesterday, they were making this outcry really, asking people who knew that individuals that lived in this building to contact the reunification center to let them know who was missing. because one of the things we really have to think about,
sanjay, is that this is south florida. this is the gateway to latin america. we know that some of the missing individuals are from countries like paraguay. >> very hard to get hold of. let's go back to listening. >> we have four victims that lost their lives. homicide detectives are working with the medical examiner's office right now to identify those victims, and we have victim advocates as well, next of kin notifications will be made. in terms of the scene here, we're here supporting fire rescue with their search and rescue. scene security is paramount because heavy equipment is arriving and we are going to have a strict access to this area. go to spanish really quick. [ speaking foreign language ]
>> thank you, director. we're going to have kevin guthrie. he represents the florida division of emergency management. >> good morning, everyone. director of the florida division emergency management. overnight we had a mutual aid request go in that is being handled by the state fire marshal's office for additional urban search and rescue teams. i know that florida task force, 2, which is out of the city of miami is going to be the first to help rotate in to help miami-dade rescue fire here at the site. we approach the additional search and rescue teams throughout the state. there's a total of eight teams throughout the state, so that's an additional six teams put on stand by to tate in as needed at the request of miami-dade fire rescue. so that has happened. at 12:26 this morning, you heard the mayor refer to it at 12:26 a.m. this morning, i received the emergency declaration from
fema, and that has happened. that is going to turn on what is referred to as category a, debris removal, category b protective measures and individual assistance for fema reimbursement. we will be providing throughout the day additional details as more fema staff roll in on the individual assistance piece, but i think we should set the expectation now is that that will be limited to addresses at 8777 collins road. so please just know that that is coming. as i said, fema is on the way. the first individual came in about 3:00 a.m. this morning. that is our state regional coordinator paul williams. he is going to be followed by about 15 additional personnel from fema throughout the day. we also have additional staff from the florida division management coming in today. i'd be remiss if i didn't say the entire team that works in tallahassee is activated. the men and women there are ready to support as needed. and again, as we've always said at these disasters, fema helps
federally support a disaster, the state helps manage the disaster, but everything is executed at the local level. again, federally supported state managed locally executed. we are teaming up here with miami-dade county to make sure that that happens. thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. guthrie. next speaker we're going to have, mr. ryan logan giving important information regarding the red cross. >> good morning. i'm ryan logan. i'm the regional disaster officer for the american red cross here in south florida. and we like these other organizations were on scene in the early hours of yesterday morning beginning to provide whatever support we could to those that have been displaced. yesterday morning we worked with the city of surf side as well as the miami-dade county to begin to support the opening and the operation of the reception center and the family reunification center. as well as we have mobilized
additional resources, supplies, and most importantly, some of our trained help, mental health and spiritual care workers are coming in here locally, but we are also bringing in trained experts that have really dealt with this type of situation from across the country because we really want to make sure we're truly providing the necessary support for not only just those that have been directly and indirectly impacted, but the community at large. we also have been working with the families that have been displaced to try to secure temporary lodging for them, and we have begun the casework process to start to think about some of the basic next steps that they may need to take moving forward. in addition to that, we know that everybody really wants to help during these times, and it's what makes us the country that we are. but for the red cross, we would just say that we have the
necessary supplies and financial assistance that we need to support these organizations, so we would just encourage anybody that wants to make a donation, we reference to the groups the mayor referenced to funnel their resources there. and then most importantly, i think it's important that folks know this is a difficult time for everybody. whether you're here locally or you're seeing these images 3,000 miles away. so one of the things we really encourage folks is really take time for yourself. go to our website, red cross.org. we have a ton of information how folks can help manage their own coping with this as well as how to have the conversations with children that may be seeing these images, asking a lot of questions. and we also will be bringing that same level of community support here so that we can also actually focus on the community resilience as we move forward. thanks. >> we're going to break into the questions and answer session. i ask you to please raise your hand. once you're called upon,
identify who it is the question is referred to and then we'll move one at a time we'll try to get to everyone as much as possible. >> mayor, if we can. first, thank you for breaching us. this is still a search and rescue operation. have you seen anything that leads you to believe there are still people alive there? >> we will continue search and rescue because we still have hope that we will find people alive. that is exactly why we are continuing, and that is why we are using our dogs and our sonar and our cameras, everything possible to seek places where there may still be people to be found. [ inaudible question ] >> no, i can't confirm that. they are actively involved in search and rescue from both
below and above at this time. >> can you please talk about the tactics that your teams are using? you mentioned going above -- >> so, throughout the night, no different than from when we began operations. so, as the heavy machinery comes in, we will begin removing some of the debris above, some of the light debris. as we place those devices to look for voids, we start looking for additional victims. we are looking for -- we are listening for sound. it's not specifically human sounds. it could be tapping. it could be steel, you know, kind of twisting. it could be some of the debris kind of raining down. we concentrate on those areas. from below we continue using light machinery. saws, jackhammers as we continue to tunnel through underneath.
[ inaudible question ] >> it's not necessarily tapping. it's just sounds. and what i reference to sounds, it could be various things. it could be steel twisting. it could be debris raining down, but not specifically sounds of tapping or sounds of a human voice. >> are there a lot of -- channel 4. >> yes, chief, if you can, can you talk a little more about the sounds that maybe your crews are listening for and are they hearing -- as well, do you still believe there are people trapped alive? >> as the mayor said, we have hope. every time we hear a sound, we concentrate in that area. so we send additional teams utilizing the devices, utilizing canine, utilizing personnel. so as we continue to hear those sounds, we concentrate on those areas. >> when was the last time your crew heard sound out there? >> through the night. >> even now -- >> currently as we continue through the operations, as we hear the various sounds, we deploy those devices, including
personnel, and we start concentrating on those areas. >> last two, sir. >> chief, "the new york times." [ inaudible question ] is it presumed they are all inside the building or are you calling family and friends? >> so, we couple that information with the information that we receive from the reunification center. so we utilize that number. so as i stated yesterday, the entire building, the portion that's still standing, was cleared by rescue crews. so at this point now, all that -- all resources have been shifted to the rubble, including from above and from below. >> we're going to have the gentleman with the associated press, then we're done for the day. >> there was a national tv report last night that you guys made contact with somebody with a cell phone. that's not correct? >> that's unfounded. >> chief, on a personal level,
can you talk about the bravery of your firefighters who were going in there not knowing if that rubble could shift, if there could be another collapse? >> this is the risk that we take. it's a risk versus benefit. every time we have belief with hope with personnel that are trapped, we risk our lives, so -- >> it's incredibly moving to be on-site with these safety personnel, fire rescue. they are totally, totally motivated to find people. they have to be pulled off the shift. that is how motivated they are to continue their efforts. >> two questions. [ inaudible question ] and secondly, when was the last time someone was pulled out of there, what time someone -- >> i just want to make another point to this gentleman. this work is being done at
extreme risk to these individuals. debris is falling on them as they do their work. we have structural engineers on-site to assure that they will not be injured, but they, they are proceeding because they are so motivated and they are taking extraordinary risk on the scene every day. >> she's going to repeat that in spanish. [ speaking foreign language ]
>> we have been listening to this news conference. i'm here with rosa flores. it's tough to reconcile the images that we're seeing there and hearing what they're saying with the idea that there's people who are still trapped. that's what we're hearing. one of the things they also mentioned was that overnight they did hear sounds. it wasn't necessarily human voices, but sounds. they think these are signs of life. in these situations, it's very hard to tell. >> that's hope for the families that are waiting at the reunification center because that's what they want to hear.
they want signs that their loved one is alive. of course, they also mentioned that three more families heard that their loved ones have perished. you and i have been here all morning long. you see how these firefighters have been even peeling portions of this building, trying to get to these difficult areas. and it's painstaking work. it's dangerous. >> she talked about debris falling on them. i mean, it is dangerous work for them as well. and that's a consideration. i mean, you also have another fragment of the building here, which is also at risk of collapse. so this is the reality of what's happening on the ground here. i want to bring in the professor at the institute of environment at fiu, i believe. professor, thank you for joining us. you know, i just want to start with this. this came as a shock to me. i have traveled around the world. i have seen building collapses in haiti, in pakistan, all these places around the world. not used to seeing this happen
just as a phenomenon here in the united states. i have been listening to some of your comments. do you think this was at all predictable? >> well, i don't know if the collapse was predictable, but we did meet detectives at the building in the 1990s. i think we have to distinguish between two things. whether it was structural damage over there that could have -- the time before the building collapse. and then what happens with this collapse or the condition that led to this sudden collapse. it is very unusual to see a building collapse in this way. it reminds me of building in countries where they have earthquakes and the construction is not in good conditions.
this is very unusual to see something like that here in our country or my city where i live here. >> yeah, i mean, you also keep in mind hurricanes and significant weather events occur around here, and the buildings have with stood those, at least in recent years. you talked about the fact that you saw evidence of sinking of the building. what does that mean exactly? how much sinking are we talking about? what was the evidence? >> okay. i would like to correct, i used the term siding rather than sinking because the process that pushes something solid. sinking is when something is going into liquid. we analyze data for projects that dealt with subsidence in order to understand the
relations why would have so much flooding here in southeast florida, especially miami-dade. so we analyze the data and we found some pockets of subsidence. usually if subsidence, it can be different processes that cause subsidence. if it's molecules, it's related to the ground. if it's localized as in this case, it could be something that's associated with the building. whether the building is moving inward into the ground, the foundation is not that good, it's hard to say. but it was, in this case, very localized signal that building -- it means not necessarily the building moved into the ground. it can be that the building moved within itself if there were some kind of structural damage in the building. and i'm talking about data that were collected by satellites in the 1990s from '93 to '99.
so we know the changes over there, it's very subtle. it's still detected by satellites and emerging technology. >> you know, i think that that raises the question, right, when you see something like this, people are going to start sort of wondering is this something that might happen in other buildings, maybe other buildings even in this area. when you say this is a localized phenomenon, should people feel that that indicates that other buildings in the area are not necessarily at risk? >> well, i can say about movement because we analyze data sets that were collected in the 1990s. we are working on analyzing data sets from the last five years, then we can say more things about recent movements. it tells us that the building was moving 20 to 30 years ago,
so it's not something that is new to the building that it moved. the thing is that it reached a certain level, it reached a catastrophic collapse, and i don't know if it's something that's unique to all the buildings. but definitely it will be good to see if there are any cracks in building, and if there are things that people should notice. we can surveil if we have all the resources for that, and then people need to go and check because we just can identify what we see movement of buildings. we do that in case of when we try to detect sinkholes, when we are studying west central florida. and we see buildings that also they show some movement and they are associated with cracks. people have cracks in the building, they should notice that and take care of that. we can do the survey and see
even more special view and give information to city planners or city officials, but i think if they have cracks, they need to take care of it. it means there is something compromised in the building. >> right. and i want to be clear that we don't know why this happened at this point. we're not trying to assign any intentionality. we are going to learn a lot, there are going to be a lot of lessons here, professor, from you and others. thank you so much. the reality is on the ground people are unaccounted for. it's tough. it is tough to reconcile what is happening behind me with missing folks. we're going to talk to someone who is missing a loved one right after this break. you need a financial plan that can help grow and protect your money. an annuity can help cover essential expenses in retirement, so you can live the life you want. this is what an annuity can do.
there's interest you accrue, and interests you pursue. plans for the long term, and plans for a long weekend. at thrivent, we believe money is a tool, not a goal. to learn more, text thrive to 444555, or visit thrivent.com. i'm dr. sanjay gupta here in surf side, florida. we're about a block away from this heartbreaking devastating building collapse. you can sort of see some of the images over the left shoulder here. it is very difficult to reconcile what we're seeing there with the fact that these search and rescue missions are underway. the grim news now, four people have been confirmed to have died. there's 159 people who are unaccounted for. the rain has picked up, making some of these search and rescue missions a little bit more challenged. and there are people, there are people, so many people who are still obviously potentially
buried, unaccounted for. i'm joined now by mary ella flores. thank you for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> you know people who were in that building. graciella, daughter estelle and parents. they were friends of yours. did you reach out to them? >> i opened my phone and, you know, naturally i'm looking at the news. that's something i do every morning and i sent graciella a message because i know it's surf side and she lives here. i didn't get a response at that point. i let it go. but then as i'm looking at the news and looking at the building more closely, i'm like, wait a minute, that's her building. so i texted her again. i start trying to call her. the phone goes straight to voice mail, doesn't ring at all. i called her multiple times, text messaged her, no response, which isn't like her. we always communicate regularly. there was always a response.
so i've not heard from her since i started texting her, 7:45 a.m. i learned the building collapsed at 1:45 a.m. i went to the reunification site and they were still unaccounted for yesterday around 6:30 p.m. >> we have some pictures of graciella and estelle on the screen. it's been 31 hours since the building collapsed. tell us about your friends. how did you know them, what kind of people are they? >> she's an amazing mother. her whole world revolves around that little girl. she is a very talented photographer. she kind of stepped away from doing that and was recently working to get her real estate license since real estate is kind of the way to go right now. she is just a wonderful person trying to always, you know, do the right thing and trying to change laws to protect children and the family court concept,
very passionate about these things, just a kind heart. >> can you tell us a little about this community? people all over the world are hearing about surf side, florida, for the first time. you live near here, you live in miami my understanding. >> i live in fort lauderdale. >> you live in fort lauderdale. what is this community like? >> from my understanding, from the times i've been here visiting graciella, it's a nice upscale area. i know it's a highly jewish community, but there is also like a little bit of a melting pot, you know, there's argentinians, peruvians, it's eclectic. >> have you been communicating with officials? how are you going about getting information? >> i actually drove to the reunification site yesterday. i called the hotline that they provided, but i'm finding that all you can do there is basically, you know, report a missing person. somebody had already reported
them, so my next step yesterday was to go to the reunification site and i went up to the desk and i asked, i know she was in unit 501, and they said that they were still unaccounted for. >> was there any sense ever to the possibility of poor building design, any concerns about safety ever come up? >> i've been here with my child who is 6 years old. our kids played together in the pool. it's inconceivable. i have no idea how this could happen. i don't understand how something like this could happen. it's not, you know, the building is not that old. it seems solid. i don't understand. i don't understand. >> how are you doing? i don't even know how to ask the question. what is the emotion now? >> i vacillate between hope and
heartbroken. you know, a little girl. i'm a parent. my friend, you know, i know she's been through a lot, as have i. and then i'm hopeful, but then nighttime comes -- yesterday at night, the rain. you start thinking, you know, if they are alive down there, like what's going on? how buried are they in there? is there a possibility that they're alive? like truthfully, look at this mess. i mean, what are the chances? >> i feel the same way, i vacillate. they're doing incredible work, search and rescue. they heard sounds overnight. so 30 hours in, people have been rescued around the world in longer time. we're here. >> i keep reading the news. i keep trying to find pieces of information. i saw that there was a mother and little girl that were pulled
out, but they had to amputate the mother's leg. that gave me hope. but i later learned the little girl was 12 years old. so it can't possibly be my friend and her daughter. >> i'm so sorry you're going through this. i appreciate you talking to us because i think it's really important all the stories of people who understand this community -- thank you for checking in. >> thank you. i appreciate you putting their names out there and pictures out there. hopefully some family members pop up. thank you. >> okay, thank you. brianna? >> sanjay, thank you so much for that interview. we'll be back in just a moment with our special coverage.
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who is covering this. ed, tell us the latest. what are we expecting? >> reporter: good morning, brianna. the vice president is expected to land here in el paso in about an hour and a half. it will be a four-hour visit, and this will be her first visit to the u.s./mexico border region since she was appointed the border czar by president biden. as you mentioned she's come under a great deal of fire for not visiting the border soon enough. there's also some criticism as to exactly the location that she has picked for this visit. some critics say that the vice president would have been better served going to the rio grande valley, which has really been the ground zero of the recent spike in migration numbers here along the u.s./mexico border. but the vice president team pushing back on that criticism, saying that el paso is highly representative of all border issues, is also the ground zero and the birth place of many of the trump era immigration
policies they say they are trying forcefully to roll back as quickly as possible. they are also getting criticism from the left, even people who are supportive of the biden administration saying in many immigration issues the biden administration is simply not moving fast enough. the vice president scheduled to land here in about an hour and a half and it will be a four-hour visit, brianna. >> we know you'll be following it. ed lavandera, thank you so much. in a few hours, derek chauvin will be sentenced for the murder of george floyd. he faces perhaps decades in prison. cnn's omar has more from minneapolis. >> reporter: it's been more than two months since derek chauvin was found guilty on charges of second degree unintentional murder, second degree manslaughter, and third degree murder. now a final punctuation in the
state's case against the former minneapolis police officer, the sentencing. >> when chauvin was convicted, i would describe it as a collective sense of relief. this could be a blueprint. it's a good first step. but it's only a first step. at the time he was convicted, there were many in the community that did not believe he would be convicted. up until that jury came back. >> reporter: the general sentencing guidelines only go as high as 15 years for second degree murder. judge cahill said he abused his authority, children were present during the offense and chauvin committed the crime as a group with participation of at least three other people. all factors that could give chauvin a lengthier prison sentence than what the guidelines layout. over judge cahill's last 13
years he convicted six people convicted of second degree murder terms 12 1/2 years all the way to the statutory maximum of 40. prosecutors are asking for 30. writing in an early june memo, it would properly account for the profound impact of the defendant's conduct on the victim, the victim's family and the community. >> so let us pray. dere god -- >> reporter: for the floyd family it's a close to the chapter, but not the end. >> his legacy will not be a knee on his neck. you see people noticing what's going on, and they're not going to sleep on it. they're staying woeke because they don't want it to happen to him. >> reporter: the defense chauvin could appeal. are you worried about an appeal? >> i'm worried about it. i'm sufficiently concerned. >> reporter: even still, there are two federal cases that await chauvin post sentencing stemming from floyd and a separate 2017 incident allegedly involving a teenager. the question remains what the
long-term impact of 9:29 will be for decades to come. >> i think how we look back at this will depend on did we have an opportunity that we didn't take advantage of, or did we really have a reckoning here and buckle down and figure out how to fix a system that's been broken. >> george floyd! >> george floyd. >> george floyd! >> george floyd. >> reporter: what to expect when things begin later today, we'll likely hear from george floyd's family how the murder impacted them. we'll get the judge's opinion on the case and we may even hear from derek chauvin himself before he's sentenced. he'll then have 90 days to appeal. john? >> whether or not he chooses to speak could have an impact on the ultimate sentence. omar jimenez for us in minneapolis. thank you very much. in the meantime we are getting more news in from surf side florida where we now have four confirmed deaths in the collapse of that building.
miami-dade mayor told us there are 159 people still unaccounted for. >> it's a big number. it's increased, and so we are going to keep an eye on this, of course, throughout the day. what is unfolding right now in surf side, florida. cnn's special coverage continues right now. good morning, everyone. i'm poppy harlow. >> and i'm jim sciutto. we begin with the devastating building collapse in surf side, florida. four people are dead. 159 now unaccounted for at this point. among them, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and children. at least 37 people were pulled from the rubble or rescued from the parts of the building that are still standing. of those, 11 were injured. four have been taken to the hospital. >> rescue teams are dealing with fires, shifting material, twisting steel, water like thi
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