News Americas, MIAMI, FL, Tues. June 29, 2021: At least five Caribbean nationals are known to be among the victims of the Champlain Towers South apartment building that it is now feared to have killed potentially scores of people when it collapsed on June 24, 2021. The official death toll last night was 11 with 150 missing.
Three nationals of Cuba and one from Puerto Rico are so far identified among the missing.
Magaly Delgado, 80, originally of Cuba, lived on the ninth floor of the building for more than 10 years. Her daughter, Magaly Ramsey, said her mother “loved the building .. (and) loved the community.”
Ramsey said her mother was trying to “live her best life” in Champlain Towers South condos by the water and was a devout Catholic. Delgado was a “woman of faith” who taught Ramsey to have faith as well, and while the family is “burdened with such despair,” they have faith “in the miracles that God can create,” Ramsey said.
“Never in a thousand years did I think that was her building or that her building is just not there anymore,” she told the AP. “The worst thing is not to know. “Knowing, whatever the outcome may be, you hope that they didn’t suffer if something did occur. But knowing is a little bit healing in itself.”
Also missing from Cuba are Juan and Ana Mora and their son, Juan, Jr.. Immigrants from Cuba and devout Catholics, Juan and Ana Mora took their family on missionary trips to the Caribbean to build churches and bridges, said Jeanne Ugarte, a close friend of Ana. Later, they became like second parents to Juan Jr.’s friends in Chicago, where their son has managed East Coast distribution for Morton Salt’s road salt business, his friend Matthew Kaade said.
Luis Andres Bermudez, a young graphic artist from Puerto Rico, is also among the lost. He was an inspiring example of courage who never let a disability keep him from his dreams or dampen his sunny disposition, his former teacher told the AP.
Andres Bermudez, 26, lived with his mother Ana Ortiz, 46, who also was identified as one of the casualties of the collapse. “Luis Andres is an example of courage and bravery FOR ALL of us,” said Jose J. Ortiz Carlo, a teacher who had Andres Bermudez in a photography class at Robinson School in Puerto Rico, where he graduated in 2014.
Despite being confined to a wheelchair because of muscular dystrophy, Andres Bermudez, known as Luiyo, never missed school and was always smiling, the teacher said on Facebook.
In 2018, he launched Saucy Boyz Clothing, a fashion line of T-shirts and caps with his artwork on them that he called “a dream come true for me” on social media. The young man’s father, Luis Didi Bermudez, who was separated from his mother and was not in the building when it collapsed, mourned his son, saying in a Facebook post translated from Spanish, “You are and will be the best in my life.”