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Teenager who lost mum in building collapse disaster thanks rescuers for saving his life

A teenage boy who suffered devastating injuries when a Miami apartment building collapsed has reunited with his rescuers.

Jonah Handler – whose mum died in the disaster on June 24 – has been pictured with those who saved him weeks after footage showed him being freed from the remains of the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside.

The 15-year-old’s mum, Stacie Fang, 54, was the first victim to be formally identified to have died.

His dad posted the heart-wrenching new snaps on a GoFundMe page alongside a message thanking his son’s heroes.

“The first time we saw these nameless heroes was on the news reels as they were pulling my boy out of the rubble,” Neil wrote.

“Now with God’s grace we stand next to each other sharing thanks and hope.

“Jonah is recovering from his physical injuries but as we all know, bitter sweet is the long road ahead without his mom Stacie in our lives.”

Neil went on to say the entire family has “no words to express the gratitude and respect for these men and women who allowed God to use them as His hands to rescue Jonah”.

“We have also been overwhelmed and humbled by all those who have supported us with donations, food, clothing, and care (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) during this unimaginable time in his and our lives.”

Neil finished the message by thanking all the first responders “especially Dave, Charlie, Kenny, Corey, Cesar and Alex”.

A total of 97 people have been confirmed dead after the building collapsed, with eight people still unaccounted for, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.

At least 15 lawsuits have been filed in connection with the incident.

According to legal papers filed by Jonah’s family, the teenager was sitting in his bedroom next to his mum when the building gave way.

“They free-fell to what they thought was certain death,” the lawsuit filed on July 8 in Miami-Dade County’s 11th Judicial Circuit Court states.

The Champlain Towers South Condominium Association is named as a defendant in the legal action filed by Neil and Stacie’s brother Kevin Fang.

“Stacie and Jonah landed several floors below and miraculously were still alive,” according to the lawsuit.

Rescue crews use Air Jacks to free Jonah who was trapped under the frame of his bed.

“Jonah lived, but with devastating injuries,” the papers continue. “Tragically, his mother was killed.”

It adds he was left “physically, emotionally, and psychologically permanently injured”.

In the photos posted by Neil, the teenager appears to wearing a medical brace.

Jonah had stuck his hand up through the rubble after being spotted by first responders, with a video showing the moment he was carried away on a stretcher.