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Members of Utah Task Force 1 return safely home

Crews work in the rubble of the demolished section of the Champlain Towers South building, as removal and recovery work continues at the site of the partially collapsed condo building, on Monday, July 12, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. (Rebecca Blackwell, Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY — Two members of Utah Task Force 1 have safely returned home to Utah this weekend.

At the request of federal authorities, the two individuals were sent to south Florida on July 7 to help in the recovery efforts of the Surfside Champlain Tower collapse. The two members had spent more than a week on site in assisting local first responders.

In a social media post Friday night, Utah Task Force 1 said its "All members of UT-TF1 have been demobilized from the Surfside Champlain Tower collapse and have returned safely home to Utah."

The Surfside Champlain Tower collapsed June 23 and has claimed at least 97 lives.

Utah Task Force 1 is one of 28 Federal Emergency Management Agency Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces in the United States.

Last fall, Utah Task Force 1 was deployed to Oregon to assist in search efforts, following devastating wildfires there. It was also sent to Louisiana in August 2020 to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura.

The task force made up of first responders, including paramedics, firefighters and physicians.

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Mark Jones


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