News World US Former Australians among latest dead pulled from Miami tower
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Former Australians among latest dead pulled from Miami tower

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The bodies of two former Australians are among the latest to be recovered in the rubble of Miami’s destroyed housing tower.

Miami-Dade Police confirmed that Tzvi and Ingrid Ainsworth had been found dead on Monday (local time).

The couple, who were aged 66 and 68, had moved to South Florida from Australia four years ago.

According to Jewish news website Chabad.org, Mr Ainsworth, who is originally from Sydney, met his wife in Canada before the couple returned to live in Sydney and Melbourne.

They had seven children, several of whom settled in Florida, along with Ms Ainsworth’s extended family.

The Australian Jewish News Facebook page posted a tribute to the couple.

“It is with immense sadness this morning that we report Tzvi and Itty Ainsworth, a beloved couple who lived in Australia for nearly 20 years, are among the people confirmed killed in the Florida building collapse disaster,” it said.

“The AJN’s thoughts and prayers are with their family at this time.”

The discovery of the Ainsworths’ bodies brought the death toll from the fallen tower to 28. Another 117 people remain unaccounted for.

Rescuers are continuing their search through fresh rubble after the last of the collapsed apartment building was demolished, allowing crews to scour previously inaccessible places.

But they face a new challenge as Tropical Storm Elsa approaches the state.

The demolition late on Sunday was crucial to the search-and-rescue effort, officials said, and raised the prospect crews could increase the pace of their work and the number of searchers at the site.

miami tower australians
Tzvi (far left) and Ingrid Ainsworth (far right) are confirmed to have died in the Miami tower collapse. Photo: Chabad.org

However, the chance of finding survivors 12 days after the June 24 collapse continues to diminish.

“We know that with every day that goes by, it is harder to see a miracle happening,” Maggie Castro, a firefighter and paramedic with the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, said.

City of Miami Fire Rescue Captain Ignatius Carroll said rescuers still hoped to reunite loved ones.

“We continue to remain focused on our primary mission, and that is to leave no stone unturned and to find as many people as we can and to help bring either some answers to family and loved ones or to bring some closure to them,” Mr Carroll said.

The newly accessible area includes bedrooms where people were believed to be sleeping when the building collapsed, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said.

“We will be able to access every part of that pile, which they hadn’t been able to do up to this point,” Mr DeSantis said.

“It’s going to move the pace. The momentum is very strong.”

Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah said rescuers had focused on a stairwell section. But inclement weather has hampered the search, particularly in a garage area that was filling with water that needed to be pumped out.

Latest forecasts show Elsa moving westward, mostly sparing South Florida. But there have been thunderstorms in the area near the collapsed building, and the US National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for nearby Miami Beach.

“Now that we don’t have an issue with the building, the only time that we’re stopping is lightning,” Mr Jadallah said.

Rescuers hoped to get a clearer picture of voids that might exist in the rubble as they searched for those believed to be trapped under the fallen wing of the Champlain Towers South.

No one has been rescued alive since the first hours after the collapse.

-with AAP