99 people are unaccounted for 12 hours after a massive Miami condo building collapse that occurred during the early hours of Thursday morning. Within a short time following the yet-to-be-explained collapse of more than half of the 12-story residential structure in the Surfside community, about a dozen people were rushed to area hospitals where one person was pronounced dead.
The Mayor of Surfside, Charles Burkett, described the deadly disaster as “the building is literally pancaked.” By that he means that the massive structure plummeted downward on itself, destroying everything in its wake as it collapsed. The Mayor or Surfside went on to grimly remark: “That is heartbreaking because it doesn’t mean to me that we are going to be as successful as we wanted to be in finding people alive.”
Residents of the Champlain Towers South
The devasted building is christened Champlain Towers South. It is a beachfront property on Collins Drive in the Miami Beach area. The condo building contains about 130 units and was built in 1981.
The Surfside condo building has a mix of residents. These include people who make the tower their year-around residence. The building is also home to snowbirds who call Florida home during the winter months.
There is at least some level of confusion about who may or may not have been in residence at the condo building on Thursday morning. With that said, the belief is that by Thursday afternoon, a fairly firm list is compiled of people who were not in residence at the time of the disaster together with those individuals who evacuated the standing portion of the structure.
In addition, rescue officials have identified all people who’ve been rescued from the building thus far. This includes people plucked off their balconies by fire department cherry pickers as well as people rescued from the remains of the decimated portion of the building.
The stark reality is that as the afternoon grows closer to a close on Thursday, there is mounting concern that a significant percentage of the 99 people not accounted for may be buried in the rubble of the collapsed Miami condo building.
Cause of Miami Condo Collapse
As of Thursday afternoon, officials at the scene of the Miami condo building collapse have no idea what caused the catastrophe. There were two activities in progress at the structure in recent days that were out of the ordinary. With that said, officials thus far maintain that they cannot imagine either activity caused or contributed to the massive and possibly very deadly collapse.
First, there was roof work going on at the Miami condo building during the past month. Thus far, Mayor Burkett has tentatively concluded that he doesn’t believe this activity caused the collapse. He stated it’s “hard to imagine that could have been the impetus for a catastrophic collapse.” He underscored that he had never seen anything like this in his entire life.
Second, a comprehensive inspection was underway at the 40-year-old building. Florida law requires an in-depth inspection of a residential building of this nature 40 years after its initial construction. The primarily goal of the inspection is to ascertain whether or not a building remains structurally safe.
There is absolutely no indication that any activities associated with the inspection process jeopardized the stability of the structure. Moreover, as of Thursday, there is no indication that the inspectors had identified any major structural deficiencies with the Champlain Towers South.
If you or a loved one have been injured in the Miami condo building collapse, the legal team at The Doan Law Firm stands ready to assist you. An appointment can be scheduled with an experienced, caring Doan Law Firm Miami condo building collapse lawyer by calling our local offices at (786) 671-0000. If you’ve lost a loved one in the disaster, a Miami condo building collapse attorney from our firm is also here for you.
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