There was one spot of good news amid the search for the dead in Surfside, Fla. A cat named Binx, who had lived on the ninth floor of the collapsed building, was found alive and reunited with his family.
“I’m glad that this small miracle could bring some light into the lives of a hurting family today and provide a bright spot for our whole community in the midst of this terrible tragedy,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told reporters at a press conference on Friday.
Levine Cava said a volunteer who feeds cats on the street recognized the cat in the vicinity of the building and brought the cat to an animal shelter, where it was positively identified.
Gina Nicole Vlasek, the co-founder of the Miami Beach cat rescue group The Kitty Campus, posted about Binx on Facebook. The cat was brought to the shelter on Thursday night after being found near the rubble, she wrote.
Gina Nicole Vlasek/The Kitty Campus
Friday “was one of the most amazing days,” she wrote, because “one of the survivors came to see the cat and to determine if it was her families cat and IT WAS!”
Levine Cava said the family and cat reunion happened on Friday, but that authorities were not sharing more details about the condition of the family yet.
Meanwhile, search crews found another body in the rubble of the Champlain Towers South condo building on Friday, bringing the confirmed death toll to 79.
There are still 61 people potentially unaccounted for, Levine Cava said.
Officials announced Wednesday that the mission was no longer officially a search for survivors but to recover the dead. No one has been found alive since the early hours after the collapse on June 24.