Recovered items will be returned to condo collapse victims

Florida

FILE – In this Friday, June 25, 2021, file photo, rescue workers work in the rubble at the Champlain Towers South Condo in Surfside, Fla. The fight over whether the site of June’s deadly Florida condominium collapse should be sold for development or turned into a memorial boiled over during an emotional court hearing Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, with some victims’ relatives begging for time to find a buyer who won’t put a new luxury high-rise there.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

(AP) – Personal property recovered from the destroyed units of a South Florida condo building that collapsed will be divided into two categories: soft items and hard items.

Only the hard items collected at the site where the Champlain Towers South building once stood will be returned to survivors and family members since the moisture-absorbing soft items can’t be decontaminated.

Officials said Thursday during a court hearing that soft items, including clothing and bedding, would cost millions of dollars to decontaminate according to EPA guidelines.

The exception to that rule are photos, which Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava has made a priority in recovering.

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