Two young Montreal acquaintances died in the Florida condo’s collapse. Only one has been identified.


Update: Miami-Dade officials have identified Anastasia Gromova on July 21 as the fourth Canadian victim of the Champlain Towers South collapse. Her remains were discovered on the 18th of July.


A journey to Florida was planned to be the last trip for the best of pals Michelle Pazos, 23, and Anastasia Gromova, 24, prior to the time that Anastasia Gromova went to Japan in order to instruct English.


The two women who were together in the third year of their studies in McGill University in Montreal, where both of them pursued business degrees. They were staying at the father of Pazos’s condo situated in Surfside, Fla., after it collapsed abruptly on the 24th of June.

As an engineer Elena Pazos said from the moment she saw the pictures of the Champlain Towers South wreckage, she knew that her daughter probably had not made it through the tragedy.


“When I noticed the mess that was abandoned, and it was not a form … It was then that I realized at the time that it was quite bad,” she said.

“That’s the reason I decided not to look for a second.”

The 12-storey tower in Miami caused the deaths of 97 people after it partially collapsed. Authorities have said that the rescue and recovery efforts involved the elimination of over 12,000 tons of concrete and rubble while search teams continue to find the deceased.

So far, police from Miami-Dade are identifying 95 of the victims as per county officials.


Elena Pazos reveals that her estranged husband Miguel Pazos, 55, and their daughter Michelle Pazos, were the third and second Canadian victims identified as the result of the collapse of their condo. The bodies of the victims were discovered after three weeks.

Pazos claims that, while she’s devastated by death of her young daughter at a sudden moment, the fact that her body was recognized was her only hope of consolation.


“I was so happy,” Pazos said. “I realize it’s a horrible thing to admit”I’m happy … But after going through this kind of experience to ensure that your loved ones will be lost at the end of the day you’d like to hear that they’ve been located.

“The most important thing is that you’ve lost your beloved ones and will never ever see the same ones again.”


In search of closure

Sergiy Gromov as well as Larysa Gromova flew into Florida after a flight from Toronto on the 27th of June, after having heard about their daughter and her best friend.

“They have spent many hours with each other … They are the same,” Larysa Gromova said. “They assisted each other to make good choices in their lives.”

The couple says they’ve been able to accept the likelihood of her death however, they need for her body to be found to have closure.

“We believe that they’ll get some relief,” Gromov said. “Otherwise it’s just it’s just unbearable.”


Last time Larysa Gromova was able to contact her daughter was via text message. She often sent out updates about her trips.

“When you look through your WhatsApp messaging, you’ll notice that the most recent thing she wrote was ‘I love you.’ It’s a struggle,” she said.

A month has passed since the collapse, and Gromov believes rescuers will not find Anastasia “anytime very soon.”


Due to the humid climate in Florida, human remains degrade rapidly and the detectives have advised him that DNA testing will require the longest.

“She was extremely bright. She was the most intelligent person in our family. I now understand why,” he said. “She was extremely smart. She wasn’t wasting her time. She took every opportunity of her existence to explore, learn about certain places, to make acquaintances, and meet people.”


In the statement an official from Global Affairs Canada, said Canada offers its sincere condolences to the families of the deceased and provides direct assistance to the family members of those who have passed away.

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