Building Collapse in Miami
As of now, search and rescue teams are desperately scouring through the concrete and steel rubble of a vast 12-story residential building north of Miami. Within a couple of seconds, a large section of the vast Champlain Towers (located at the seafront in Surfside) crumbled to the ground.
Onlookers reported massive fire and dust engulfing the building during the early hours of Thursday morning, making what people described as thunder. More than half the building crumbled, taking with it 55 out of 136 apartments.
Several images taken before and after the collapse are circulating across the nation, showing the extent of the damage. The destroyed layers of the building’s floors can be seen shattered on the floor.
The collapse took place while most people were asleep. As a result, residents’ belongings, treasured items, and furniture were destroyed.
Here, we’ll discuss what lead to the building’s collapse in Miami:
What Happened to the Building?
The Champlain Towers South building contained 136 apartments; 55 of them collapsed, leaving behind the debris. Barry Cohen, a resident, was in bed in a section of the building that survived during the collapse took place said it sounded ‘similar to thunder.’
He said, ‘when we opened the door, there was no building there; it was just a pile of rubble.’ Federal investigators are on-site and working to identify the underlying cause of the collapse and ensure evidence is preserved.
On Monday, in a press conference, the governor of Florida-Ron DeSantis said that the NIST would conduct a complete investigation over the course of many days.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said several federal officials working at the scene, including structural engineers, building science experts, geotechnical experts, the Army Corp of Engineers, and the FBI.
She further added that President Joe Biden ‘does believe that there should be an investigation.’ Under Florida law, buildings are inspected every 40 years, and inspectors were about to start their recertification process. An engineer’s report from 2018 highlights that ‘a major error’ in the original design of the 12-story seafront building.
As of now, the death toll rose to 11 after researchers found two more bodies on Monday.
Who are the Victims?
Officials have been able to identify only eight out of the 11 victims. Manuel LaFont, 54, Leon Oliwkowicz, 80, Stacie Fang, 54, Gladys Lozano, 79, and her husband Antonio, 83, Christina Beatriz, Ms. Fang’s son, 15, was also pulled alive from the rubble.
To Sum it Up
Now, residents are raising concerns about the integrity of their buildings. Eliana Salzhauer, one of the three Surfside town commissioners, told the news on Sunday night that the collapse’s survivors have felt shaking during construction on nearby buildings in recent years.
Salzhauer further said they told her there was cracking, shaking, and water leaking in the garage.