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Collapse in Miami: a new hypothesis points to the building’s swimming pool as the origin of the tragedy
Several neighbors realized that a section of the roof had collapsed minutes before the collapse. Experts speak of failures in the drainage.
Four more bodies were found among the rubble, bringing the death toll to 16 and the missing to 147. (Photo: AFP)
Almost a week after the tragic collapse of a Miami building, and while emergency services continue to work among the wreckage to locate the more than 140 missing, a new hypothesis suggests that the existing damage to the pool of the Champlain Tower South was a major contributor to the collapse of the structure in the Surfside area.
According to an investigation by The Washington Post based on interviews with witnesses, investigators and experts, minutes before the building collapsed, several neighbors noticed that a section of the pool deck and a parking area at the level of the street had collapsed.
In addition, the engineering company Morabito Consultants, which in October 2018 had reported problems due to the weakening of concrete in the building in a report, focused on the terrace of the pool, which had a waterproofing failure due to not having placed the material in An angle to facilitate drainage. That threatened not only the concrete slab under the pool, but other structural concrete areas as well.
The report documented how years of standing water on the pool deck had severely damaged the concrete structural slabs below. The problem needed to be addressed quickly, Morabito wrote.
“If the waterproofing is not replaced in the near future, the extent of concrete deterioration will expand exponentially,” he wrote. Proper repair would be an “extremely expensive” undertaking, he warned.
Parking under the pool deck and pot tiles also “revealed signs of stress / fatigue,” according to Morabito’s report.
// Relatives of two grandparents trapped in the Surfside building say they received 31 calls from the apartment the couple occupied
“Several major cracks were observed in the concrete both at the top of the entry access ramp and at the bottom of the pool / entry / pot slabs, including instances of exposed and deteriorated rebar,” according to The report.
“There is a possibility that part of the pool area would collapse first and then drag the central part of the building with it, and that caused it to collapse,” Allyn Kilsheimer, a veteran engineer hired by Surfside, told the Washington Post. to investigate the collapse.
Weeks before the collapse, the chairman of the board of owners wrote that the structural problems discovered during the inspection had “significantly worsened” and that the owners had to pay a considerable sum to fix them.
With construction still pending, the 12-story Champlain Towers South building collapsed last Thursday. Although the structural problems of the inspection have come under intense scrutiny, no definitive cause of the collapse has yet been identified. Experts say it will take “months” to determine the real reason for the tragedy.
The death toll rises
Four more bodies were found in the rubble of the building that collapsed last week, bringing the death toll to 16, while the hope of finding survivors among the still 147 missing diminished on Wednesday, the seventh day of the search.
A 55-apartment oceanfront block, part of the Champlain Towers South complex, collapsed early Thursday morning in one of the worst urban disasters in US history. At least 16 dead were confirmed. And the number of victims should continue to rise.
An Argentine tourist died after falling from a 14th floor of a building in Miami
“We have found four new victims. The death toll is 16, ”while 147 people remain missing, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said at a press conference.
The bodies were extracted from the giant mass of iron and concrete.
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