Recovered items will be returned to Surfside condo collapse victims

(Lynne Sladky, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SURFSIDE, Fla. – 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 is photos, which Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava has made a priority in recovering.