Pool luxury complex amid doubts about the collapse of the building

At 1.15 a.m. on Thursday, Sarah Nir heard a roar and saw that part of the parking lot on the ground floor and The pool deck collapsed into the underground garage. She and two of her children who were in her apartment in the Champlain Towers in Miami They fled the building and managed to survive the disaster. Now Sarah is witnessing what could be a vital piece to understanding the causes of the meltdown.

Pool. The whole country points to this rectangle Once a blue water, Surfside families families used to enjoy a break in sunny Miami. A report had already warned three years ago that the non-slip tile surface surrounding the pool was poorly constructed, did not drain well, and water had seeped into the garage below, and that this had caused “structural damage” to the building and collapse. Early in the morning. last Thursday.

But now a witness has appeared that deepens that theory because of I watched the swimming pool and the parking lot below the collapse Seconds before the collapse.

Newspaper Washington Post Today, Wednesday, it published a detailed analysis of the images of the ruins and a video of the collapse of the southern tower of the complex. He spoke with dozens of experts and also got a pleasant narration from the residents of the place.

Pool. The whole country refers to that rectangle that was made of blue water. Photo by AFP

The tragedy has so far killed 16 people and the disappearance of more than 100, including 9 Argentines. Rescue efforts continue for 24 hours without stopping, but progress is slow The tight arrangement of the rubble, due to the danger of explosions and rain. Yesterday another deceased was identified, Hilda Noriega, a 92-year-old woman who was planning to move soon from her sixth-floor apartment.

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While the pain of relatives increases, Questions continue about the causes of the tragedy. It emerged Saturday that in 2018, a report by Surfside County engineer Frank Morabito warned of “serious structural damage” in the pool area. He noted that the roof covered with non-slip tiles was built flat and for this reason, in addition to the huge cement beds, the water was not draining well. In addition, due to the failure of the waterproofing, liquid seeped into the concrete slab and into the garage below, damaging the columns.


Jan Wodnicky, the head of the apartment told the owners in April of this year that “The damage to the garage was significantly exacerbated”. The building, constructed in 1981, has been in the process of rehabilitation, a procedure that takes place every 40 years. But repairs were done on the roof, not the sink or the parking lot.

The investigation into the collapse is likely to take several months, as explained by three engineers cited days ago Clarion, may not be the product of a single cause. But Allen E. Kelsheimer, a seasoned engineer hired by Surfside to investigate the crash, told the newspaper that The failure of the pelvis could have caused a wider catastrophe.

“There is a possibility that part of the pool area fell first and Then drag the center of the building with itThat made it collapse.” “Once the center of the building, number two, collapsed, the rest of the building didn’t know how to stand and number three fell as well.”

Most of the twelve experts interviewed in the Post article, including nine structural engineers, agreed that the collapse appears to have originated Because of a fault in the lower levels of the building Or in the parking lot below it. In photographs of the ruins, four experts saw signs of a defect in which the concrete slabs that make up the building’s floors are displaced from the building’s supporting columns.

Experts pointed out that this unusual disaster for a 40-year-old building stunned the engineers. “There has to be a very specific sequence of events that somehow,” said Joe De Pompeo, president of the Structural Engineering Institute at the American Society of Civil Engineers. Escape from all security agencies of code and everything else.”

Sarah Nir, a resident of the complex, told The Post that shortly before 1 a.m., she noticed loud “knocking” sounds that she assumed were caused by construction work. About 1:14 he heard a noise he thought It looked like a broken wallHe left his ground-floor apartment to complain to a security guard in the lobby.

She estimated that about a minute later, while in the hallway, she heard a loud bang-like sound and saw that part of the rooftop parking lot and pool deck. It collapsed in the underground car park. She and two of her children who were home at the time fled the building.

Nir’s son called 911 at 1:19 a.m., a record that stayed on his phone, and a minute later, a Miami-Dade County Fire and Rescue employee dialed a cell phone for an answer. Alarm in the building, as shown in the audio. According to the additional emergency sound system, the building collapsed between 1:24 and 1:25 a.m. while Vehicle 76 was on its way.

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Nir’s account matches that of Mike Stratton, with the Miami Herald, who said he was talking to his wife Cassie that night and she told him she could see A hole in the pool area From the balcony of his apartment on the fourth floor. While they were talking, the line was cut and she was among the missing.

“If these two accounts really indicate that the pool deck area collapsed first, then the deterioration from the leak and subsequent slab damage can be consistent with thisEngineer Glenn Bell, director of collaborative reporting for Safer Structures, cautioned against jumping to conclusions and that the investigation would take time.

Engineer Kilsheimer said the erosion caused by water entering the slab may have caused it to collapse. “If a sufficient portion of the armature It was 100% rusty.That might be something that makes it possible.”

Investigators will also examine the ground under the building to see if the collapse or failure of the foundation caused the disaster. An academic study published last year revealed that the building It seems to have sunk millimeters during the ’90s. It also looks for substandard materials or poor workmanship during the construction of the building.


Freddie Dawson

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