Trailblazing queer music heavyweight named as 95th victim of Surfside condo collapse

A trailblazing queer music executive has been named as 95th victim of the Surfside condo collapse in Miami, Florida.

Theresa Velasquez, 36, died in the tragic collapse alongside her parents Julio and Angela Velasquez.

Velasquez was pulled from the rubble on 8 July, in a recovery mission that is still not complete, almost a month after the 24 June disaster.

According to Advocate, she was a successful and internationally known DJ who, in 2013, launched her own record label Audio4Play with DJ Hector Fonseca, which specialises in house music and promotes queer artists.

For the past six years, she had worked as senior vice president at top concert producer Live Nation in Los Angeles, where she championed inclusion for LGBT+ and women artists in the music industry.

Following the news that she had been identified as a victim of the, Live Nation said in a statement: “Our hearts break for the loss of our beloved Theresa Velasquez, her parents Angela and Julio, and everyone taken far too soon in the tragic accident in Surfside, Florida.

“Theresa was an impassioned leader at Live Nation, who elevated every project she was part of, at the same time breaking down barriers for women and the LGBT+ community.

“We will always remember and honour the impact she made, and will miss her dearly.”

Investigators are still working to uncover the cause of the Surfside condo collapse

In the early hours of 24 June, 2021, the 12-story Champlain Towers South building in the Miami suburb of Surfside, Florida, partially collapsed while many residents slept.

Since then, search-and-rescue teams have been working around the clock to recover and identify victims.

The death toll currently stands at 97, with 95 victims having been identified.

Until all debris has been cleared and the recovery mission is complete, investigators will not be able to determine what caused the collapse.

Allyn Kilsheimer, a structural engineer hired by the town, told CNN: “Until they do their job, we can’t go in to do samples of materials and take those samples and test them to understand what the various components of the building that came down was.”

Kilsheimer, who also investigated during the aftermath of 9/11, said he had around 20 to 30 theories of what could have caused the collapse.