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How could a 12-story building collapse?

Rescuers search the rubble for survivors.AP. picture

Video from a nearby security camera shows what happened Thursday night last week: Much of the complex, on the north side, is going downhill. Eight seconds later, another room collapses. In eleven seconds, there is nothing but emptiness in a place where hundreds of people lay down a few hours ago.

“Structural damage”

On Saturday, it emerged that an engineer had already warned three years ago of the discovery of “significant structural damage” on the property. Newspaper New York Times Watch a report describing the extensive damage to the concrete foundation under the pond. The report also notes a large number of cracks and collapses in the columns, beams and walls of the parking lot beneath the complex – damage likely caused by years of exposure to salty sea air.

At the time, architect Frank Morabita urged the building management to make quick repairs. A multi-million dollar refund has been developed and will be launched soon – after more than 2.5 years of warning from management.

Investigators to determine the cause of the disaster do not have full access to the site. Experts say it would take months to explore all possible scenarios: examining the individual components of the building now buried in the rubble, testing the concrete, and examining the ground to determine if there was another ditch or subsidence that might be. linked to the collapse.


Rescue teams are working on unstable mounds of concrete and steel still on fire, in the hope of finding survivors. It is a delicate job to do in the heat and in heavy rain. Heavy machinery carefully lifts large pieces of rubble to provide rescuers with new entrances into the rubble. Human remains have been found, but DNA tests are needed to identify the victims.

Rescue teams are working on unstable hills of cement and steel in the hope of finding survivors.Image via Reuters

In American media, the resort is referred to as “the microcosm” of multicultural Miami. Among the missing are residents of several Latin American countries such as Argentina, Cuba, Venezuela and Paraguay (including the sister of the country’s first lady), as well as several Israelis. According to locals, every December there was a Christmas tree and a menorah (seven-armed candelabra) in the hallway. “It was a model of an open-minded society in these towers,” Rabbi Elliot Berelson said of one of the five synagogues within walking distance of the building. Washington post. Israel sent an army search team to Florida over the weekend to assist US rescuers.

Faded away

Meanwhile, hundreds of people await news of their loss at a center created for them. To date, four deaths have been recorded. Most people still don’t know if their fathers, mothers, children, brothers, sisters or friends who live in the 55 destroyed apartments are still alive.

Zulema Perez prays for the victims of the apartment complex collapse.  Reuters photo
Zulema Perez prays for the victims of the apartment complex collapse.Reuters photo

The neighbors are also panicking. At an emergency city council meeting, officials said they were called in by residents wondering if their apartment building was still safe and called for a further investigation of all apartment complexes in the area further. six storeys old and 40 years old. Like a collapsing building.

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said there was no immediate evidence other buildings were in danger, but people were being considered for the evacuation of surrounding complexes – although many residents chose to go alone.

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