Rising junior among those missing in Miami building collapse

Rising junior Deborah Berezdivin is one of more than 150 people missing following the collapse of a condominium near Miami last week.

Berezdivin was staying in the Champlain Towers South Condo with her boyfriend, University of Chicago student Ilan Naibryf, when the 12-story building partially collapsed early Thursday morning, according to several news reports. Ten people are confirmed to have been killed in the collapse and another 151 are still missing as the fifth day of rescue efforts continues.

Berezdivin, who is majoring in business administration and marketing, transferred to GW in 2020 after studying for a year at Tulane University, according to her LinkedIn profile.

El Nuevodia, a newspaper based in Puerto Rico, reported that Berezdivin was in Miami to attend a funeral and Naibryf, her boyfriend, visited her while she was there. Berezdivin’s family owned the condo and the couple were staying in the building for one night in Unit 812, according to a New York Times report.

Malarie Dauginikas, a spokesperson for the town of Surfside, did not return a request for comment.

GW Hillel posted a message written by Berezdivin’s friends on Instagram Thursday, calling her a friend to “many” of Hillel’s members and “passionate” about her friends, family and interests.

“She has brought something positive to all of us who have had the opportunity to spend time with her,” the post said. “We are all keeping her in our thoughts and prayers, and hoping for the best and that she is safe.”

Israeli and Mexican search-and-rescue teams and Florida Task Force-1, a rescue team that responded to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the 9/11 attacks in 2001, are working with the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department to save any potential survivors of the collapse. Surfside officials also opened an investigation into the cause of the collapse, according to a Washington Post report.

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