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“Voice within the rubble” sufferer of Surfside apartment collapse recognized as music govt Theresa Velasquez by Miami Dade Hearth Rescue


Who was the voice within the rubble? That query has been one of many heartbreaking mysteries of the Surfside constructing collapse.

A overview by Miami Dade Hearth Rescue has concluded that it was Theresa Velasquez, a 36-year-old music business govt from Los Angeles who was visiting her mother and father on the Champlain Towers South on the night time of the collapse, in keeping with a memo obtained by CBS Miami.

Her mother and father – Julio, 67, and Angela, 60 – additionally died.

Theresa Velasquez’s brother, David, stated he accepts the findings of the hearth division investigation. “There is no such thing as a method to know 100%,” he advised CBS Miami, “however it looks like the logical conclusion.”

In line with the 11-page memo, written by Miami Dade Deputy Hearth Chief Ray Jadallah, Velasquez did survive the preliminary collapse, however rescue crews have been unable to succeed in her earlier than she died.

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Theresa Velasquez

CBS Miami


Within the memo, dated April 25, and despatched to Hearth Chief Alan Cominsky, Jadallah notes his findings have been primarily based on greater than two months of interviews with the crews who labored to extricate Velasquez.

The report makes an attempt to refute the findings of a USA At this time investigation revealed in December that recognized the voice within the rubble as 14-year-old Valeria Barth. The report additionally rebuts allegations that the actions of the rescue crews precipitated Valeria to burn to demise when firefighters by accident set fireplace to the room the place {the teenager} was trapped.

There have been questions from the outset of the collapse about whether or not somebody was heard alive within the rubble. Jadallah and others initially denied a voice was heard. Later the division acknowledged there was a voice within the preliminary hours behind a thick concrete slab that had crashed into the underground parking storage.

These working within the underground storage all agreed the voice was feminine.

Some firefighters believed the voice stated she was in Unit 204. That was the unit the place Valeria was staying along with her mother and father, Luis Fernando Barth and Catalina Gomez. That they had travelled collectively to Miami from Colombia a month earlier than the collapse.

Different firefighters stated the voice stated she was in Unit 304, which is owned by Theresa Velasquez’s mother and father.

The report notes: “…it was difficult listening to the girl.”

“One rescuer said that after they requested the sufferer if she was with another person, the feminine voice responded she was visiting her mother and father (paraphrased),” the report states. “This assertion correlates with the accounts from Theresa Velasquez’s household stating that Ms. Velasquez was visiting her mother and father from California and was staying with them in house #304. In contrast to Ms. Barth, who was accompanied by her mother and father visiting from Colombia and have been occupying house #204.”

“In line with rescuers, the voice was that of a grown girl whose English gave the impression to be that of an English speaker with native sentence syntax and wonderful vocabulary,” the report continues. “All of the rescuers unanimously said … [the voice] didn’t have an accent.”

The report notes Valeria’s uncle stated the teenager’s major language was Spanish “however she will converse English” and does have a definite Spanish accent.

In line with the report, Valeria’s uncle didn’t imagine the voice was his niece.

CBS Miami was not capable of attain both the uncle or Valeria’s grandmother.

Theresa Velasquez’s physique was unearthed on July 8. It was roughly 15 toes from the help poles that they had erected whereas they have been trying the extricate the trapped girl. Nonetheless, the report doesn’t say if Valeria’s physique was additionally present in that space.

The report spends a substantial amount of time trying to refute accusations the division didn’t have the mandatory gear to rescue the trapped girl. And it disputes the allegation that the firefighters by accident sparked the underground fires that precipitated rescue efforts for the trapped girl to be halted for a number of hours. After they returned, they may now not hear the girl’s voice.

The report paperwork the extraordinarily hazardous situations rescue crews have been working below to try to save the girl — together with excessive readings of carbon monoxide, hip-deep water polluted with hazardous supplies and the fixed danger {of electrical} shock and additional collapse of the rubble.

Theresa Velasquez’s brother, David, stated Jadallah and different officers have spoken to him usually within the months for the reason that collapse.

“I belief what’s in that report and the those that made that dedication,” he advised CBS Miami.

Velasquez was a Los Angeles-based govt for the Dwell Nation occasion promotion firm.

“Theresa was an impassioned chief at Dwell Nation, who elevated each venture she was a part of, on the identical time breaking down boundaries for girls, and the LGBTQIA+ neighborhood,” the corporate stated after her physique was recovered. “We’ll all the time bear in mind and honor the impression she made, and can miss her dearly.”



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