Surfside Condominium Building At North Of Miami Beach, Florida, Partially Collapsed
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On Thursday, June 24, 2021, around 1:30 a.m. EDT, a 12-story beachfront Surfside Condominium building, Champlain Towers South, built in 1981, 55 out of 136 units collapsed at Surfside, North of Miami Beach, Florida. One person was confirmed killed and eleven more were injured or hospitalized, and at least 35 people were rescued from being trapped in the building, while at least 99 people remain missing, as a result of the collapse overnight, in the video published on June 24, 2021, “Officials give update on apartment building collapse in Miami“, below:
Dozens of people are accounted for after a large portion of a 12-story condo building collapsed in Surfside, Florida, overnight. Principal Architect Kobi Karp joins CBSN to discuss the investigation into what may have caused the building to give way, in the video published on June 24, 2021, “Architect discusses investigation into Florida building collapse“, below:
In the video published on June 24, 2021, “Partial Building Collapse Near Miami Leaves At Least One Dead“, below:
Officials say responders rescued dozens of people after a 12-story condo building partially collapsed overnight, in the video published on June 24, 2021, “Death toll expected to rise after partial building collapse near Miami Beach“, below:
For information about missing loved ones who may be in the building, please call” 305-614-1819.
A condo building along the beachfront in Surfside, Fla., partially collapsed on June 24, prompting a mass search-and-rescue response from local authorities, in the video published on June 24, 2021, “Condo building partially collapses in Miami-Dade“, below:
A massive search and rescue effort is underway after part of a 12-story residential building collapsed early Thursday in the South Florida town of Surfside, leaving dozens unaccounted for. One person is dead, Surfside Mayor Charles W. Burkett said. Two people have been pulled from the rubble at Champlain Towers South since the collapse happened around 1:30 a.m., Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Ray Jadallah said, without addressing their conditions. About 55 of the building’s 136 units collapsed, Jadallah said, leaving huge piles of rubble and materials dangling from what remained of the structure in the beachfront community a few miles north of Miami Beach, in the video published on June 24, 2021, “1 dead, dozens missing after condominium partially collapses“, below:
The condominium association was in contact with engineers and architects preparing to complete its 40-year building recertification, in the video published on June 24, 2021, “Researcher: High-rise that collapsed was sinking, due for recertification“, below:
More details about the Chaplain Towers South building collapse can be found from excerpt from wikipedia, in italics, below:
The residential building, Champlain Towers South at 8777 Collins Avenue, was built in 1981 by developer Nathan Reiber and is part of a complex along with two other separate buildings nearby, Champlain Towers North and Champlain Towers East. The Champlain Towers South building was an L-shaped structure comprising 136 units made up of one- to four-bedroom plans ranging in size from 1,200 to 4,500 square feet (110 to 420 m2). The buildings are just north of North Beach Oceanside Park in Miami Beach’s North Beach neighborhood. According to Surfside town commissioner Eliana Salzhauer, the building was undergoing inspection for its 40-year recertification at the time of the disaster, which typically takes one year to complete. According to Surfside mayor Charles Burkett, roof repairs were under way at the building.
The Champlain Towers South building suffered a partial pancake collapse. Surveillance footage indicates that a large north-central section of the building collapsed first, which left the mostly isolated northeast corner standing but unstable. About nine seconds later, however, the northeast corner collapsed as well.
Of the 136 units in the building, 55 were destroyed in the collapse.
One person died in the immediate aftermath, and eleven more were injured, two of whom were treated at Jackson Memorial Hospital. In addition, at least 99 people remain unaccounted for.
President of Paraguay Mario Abdo Benítez‘s Ministry of External Relations stated that it was unable to locate First Lady Silvana López Moreira‘s sister, her sister’s husband, and their three children and considered them to be missing. Another Paraguayan citizen is also missing. The Venezuelan and Argentine consulates reported that a number of their citizens were believed to be missing. Venezuela’s consular affairs director tweeted that the agency had identified four citizens that have gone missing. Argentina’s consulate reported that eight Argentine citizens are missing. Uruguay’s consul in Miami has also confirmed that three Uruguayan citizens are missing.
More than 80 rescue units responded to the collapse, according to the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department. Surfside mayor Charles Burkett said in a news conference that ten people were treated at the scene of the collapse and that two people were taken to the hospital, with one later dying. At least 35 people have been rescued from the building and at least 99 people are unaccounted for. The mayor of Miami-Dade called a state of emergency and called for Florida governor Ron DeSantis to do the same.
The National Basketball Association‘s Miami Heat helped state emergency workers at the site of the collapse, including player Tyler Herro, assistant coaches Chris Quinn and Eric Glass, basketball administration director Scott Gurka, and vice president/executive director of the Heat’s charitable fund Steve Stowe. World Central Kitchen and Direct Relief, both of whom are recipients of the Heat’s charitable arm, were also lending help.
Governor DeSantis viewed the site the same day. He also issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency to allow necessary resources to be diverted to the area, including law enforcement and other emergency personnel.
The White House and Federal Emergency Management Agency stated that they were in contact with local officials and providing assistance after the collapse. President Joe Biden was briefed on the event, and spoke with Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
No cause has been established, but possibilities are being considered, including sinkholes, construction defects, and current roof repairs.
According to a Florida International University researcher who analyzed publicly available European Remote-Sensing Satellite data, the building had been sinking during the 1990s at a significant rate of about 2 mm/year. While 97% of Miami Beach had been stable, 1,555 of 18,949 points in Miami Beach had been sinking, at rate of less than 1 mm/year. Yet to the researcher who conducted the study, the collapse came as a surprise: A building collapse due to sinking is only likely if one part of a building sinks faster than another, which creates tensions that, in turn, weaken the building’s structure. The researcher also noted overbuilt areas that were sinking at a significantly faster rate, as on the artificial islands in Biscayne Bay – up to 3.8 mm/year.
In an npr article: Greg Batista, an engineer who specializes in concrete repair projects told Miami Herald that he suspects concrete spalling (spall, concrete degradation), a process whereby saltwater seeps into concrete and ultimately causes support beams to rust, expand, and weaken, to be a possible factor in the building’s collapse. Batista told reporter, “If you have one column subjected to spalling, the No. 1 suspect here, it could fail. That one beam could bring down the whole building like a domino effect.”
Due to salt spalling, perhaps consideration of using steel and glass for building material and/or using titanium rebars for building reinforcement of tall buildings by the ocean would be safer, but of course that would dramatically increase the cost of these buildings.
For better understanding of this building’s collapse, please also refer to Miami Herald’s “You don’t see buildings falling down in America.” So why did Surfside tower crumble?”
You may also be interested in this post: 2018 Engineer’s Report Showed Major Structural Damage Before Condo Building Collapsed On June 24, 2021
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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