There was a place with good news in the midst of 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 this little miracle could bring some light into the lives of a hurting family today and provide a bright spot for our entire community in the midst of this terrible tragedy,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told journalists at a press conference on Friday.
Levine Cava said a volunteer who feeds cats on the street recognized the cat near the building and brought the cat to an animal shelter, where it was positively identified.
Gina Nicole Vlasek, co-founder of Miami Beach Cat Rescue Group The Kitty Campus, wrote about Binx on Facebook. The cat was taken to the shelter 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 decide if it was her family cat and IT WAS!”
Levine Cava said the family and cat association happened on Friday, but that authorities have not yet shared more details about the family’s condition.
Meanwhile, search crews found another body in the rubble of the Champlain Towers South apartment building, bringing the confirmed death toll to 79.
There are still 61 people who could potentially not be accounted 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 June 24 crash.