The Miami-Dade condominium building that partially collapsed on Thursday never received upward of $9 million in needed repairs, new emails revealed, as experts continue to speculate on the cause of the catastrophe.
Champlain Towers South, a 12-story structure that contained 136 units, was quoted for approximately $630,000 in electrical repairs, $254,000 in structural costs, nearly $3.2 million in remediation of the building’s facade, and $3.8 million pertaining to repairs of the garage and pool deck, according to emails from Morabito Consultants in 2018 released by the city of Surfside.
The correspondence also pointed to failures in “concrete structural” slabs on the pool deck and said that a lack of action could have led to extensive “deterioration” in the building that dates back to the 1980s.
“The failed waterproofing is causing major structural damage to the concrete structural slab below these areas. Failure to replace the waterproofing in the near future will cause the extent of the concrete deterioration to expand exponentially,” the emails read.
The new records follow the public release of a report from the same construction firm that suggested “major structural damage” existed on the property in October 2018.
The “major structural damage” was in the concrete slabs below the pool deck, and there was “abundant” cracking in the columns, beams, and walls of the parking garage, which is under the 13-story building, Morabito’s report found.
More than 150 people are unaccounted for and five have been pronounced dead after 55 units within the building crumbled to the ground, in an alarming scene caught on video. Dozens of fire rescue officials and paramedics have since swarmed the area to parse through the 30-foot high pile of rubble as anguished family members await news of their loved ones.
Fire and smoke complicated the rescue efforts of authorities on Saturday, though it was extinguished by the end of the day.
“Buildings don’t fall down in America, that is a third-world phenomenon,” Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said on Sunday.
“It’s very disturbing,” he added. “There was obviously something very, very wrong with this building, and we need to get to the bottom of it. Not today, not tomorrow, and not for a long time because our first priority and our only priority is to pull our residents out of that rubble.”
Four of the five deceased victims have been identified as Antonio Lozano, 83, Gladys Lozano, 79, Manuel LaFont, 54, and Stacie Fang, 54. Authorities have employed DNA testing to determine the identities of the dead.
The cause of the structure collapse has yet to be determined.
Author : Jake Dima
Source : Washington Examiner : Miami condo building needed $9 million in repairs prior to collapse, emails show