Alabama doctor and brother missing after Florida condominium collapse


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (WBRC) – A family friend confirmed on Friday that Dr Gary Cohen of Alabama and his brother were both missing following the collapse of the condominium complex near Miami.

Dr Cohen is a physician at Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center.

The Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida collapsed Thursday. At least four people were killed, more than 100 people are missing.

On Thursday, Rabbi Yosef Friedman in Chabad of Alabama and Rabbi Moshe Rube in Knesseth Israel, hosted a virtual prayer service via Zoom for Cohen and his family.

Family and friends said they hope the Cohens are found alive and know miracles can still happen.

Dr Cohen’s niece Rachel Backal said: “It’s so sudden and sad. My uncle Gary was visiting his brother Brad Cohen, who lived in the apartment with his wife and two children, to visit his father who is unfortunately very ill. Fortunately, the wife and children were staying at their other home in Miami, but it is all horrible nonetheless. There are no words to explain how we feel. All we can do is pray for a miracle and continue to share the story of my Uncle Gary and his brother.

The WBRC received a statement from the director of Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center on Friday:

Dr. Gary Cohen is one of our physicians and has worked for many years providing care to our veterans. He is a part of the Tuscaloosa VAMC family and our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family during this incredibly difficult time. – John Merkle, Director of Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center

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