CHICAGO — A University of Chicago student is among the people still unaccounted for in Florida.
Ilan Naibryf’s family spoke to reporters Monday. They say it’s getting tougher and tougher each hour that passes, but they still have not lost all hope.
“You know, we see it on TV, we’ve been watching TV 24 hours. We see from up, with the drones, but to go to the site, it’s heart wrenching. We felt we had to do it, but it was difficult,” said Ronit Felszer, Ilan’s mother.
Ilan and his girlfriend were on the eighth-floor of the 12-story Miami building. The couple was in town for a funeral.
Ilan had just finished his third year at the University of Chicago. He is a physics and molecular engineering major and was also very involved in the Jewish community on campus.
Ilan grew up in Hawaii. His parents, who now live in Florida — not far from where Ilan was staying — are not pointing fingers at anyone, but are angry.
“When you have a volcano eruption you know its nature, and this is a human failure. So we are really upset about, because it could have been prevented,” said Carlos Naibryf, Ilan’s father.
They say their nights are short and days are long. The Naibryf’s spend a lot of time at the reunification center, talking with families who are also searching for loved ones and answers.
“He may come back tomorrow, I don’t think so because it’s very slim possibilities — but a miracle can happen. But honestly it’s a nightmare, that we cannot understand. No one can,” Carlos said.
The family says they have felt the outpouring support from both Hawaii and the University of Chicago community and they are trying to prepare themselves for the worst.
“We know as parents that there isn’t a grieving period, it will be forever. And we understand we will come out of this. We are family — we have two amazing daughters, we have their boyfriends supporting them, we have one another, we have the Ohana and people here but we will grieve forever,” Ronit said.
Officials in Florida are still holding out they will find survivors.
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