SURFSIDE, FLORIDA – A news story posted on cnn.com reports that the Champlain Towers South Condo partially collapsed in Surfside, Florida, trapping and killing several residents. The condominium collapse occurred at approximately 1:30 AM EST a left a mountain of rubble that trapped, injured, and killed residents who were asleep in their beds inside. As of 11:15 AM EST, at least ten people were injured and one tragic fatality in the partial building collapse. A thunderstorm slowed rescue efforts to save trapped and injured residents while a thunderstorm moved into the area. The search and rescue crews are carefully combing through rubble to locate and rescue those trapped in the condo structural failure. An extensive search-and-rescue operation of the 12-story oceanfront condo tower collapse is being conducted by dozens of Broward and Miami-Dade search-and-rescue teams.
The collapse affected the ocean-facing portion of Champlain Towers South Condo, which was constructed in 1981 and contained 130 units. Emergency officials are asking those who have loved ones unaccounted for to call 305-614-1819.
According to Miami-Dade County Fire Chief Ray Jadallah, 55 units in the Northeast corridor of the condominium building collapsed. So far, 35 victims have been rescued from the debris. Some of the injured were treated at the scene, and several other victims were transported to local area hospitals for emergency medical treatment.
Filing a Claim for Injuries, Wrongful Death, Property Loss, and Damages After the Champlain Towers South Condo Collapse
Those who have been harmed or lost family members due to the Champlain Towers South Condo Collapse may be able to obtain legal justice and hold those responsible for the tragedy. For your free case review, call Parker Waichman LLP at 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or use our website’s online Live Chat feature. Parker Waichman LLP has recovered over $2 billion dollars in jury verdicts and negotiated settlements.
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett verified that at least one resident had been killed due to the tragic incident. Local law enforcement authorities expect additional fatalities but would not speculate on the number of those who may have lost their lives in the tragic incident.
According to the director of Miami-Dade Emergency Management, Frank Rollason, the emergency workers believe that they have rescued all responsive survivors trapped inside the tower’s wreckage. He stated that 70 of the condo units were destroyed or damaged. Emergency first responders are using the visitor logs, survivor and family member statements to account for the missing. Numerous people assembled at the town’s community center to find out about loved ones and assist the Red Cross. According to the condo’s building manager, there is no detailed log of residents.
Surfside Commissioner Eliana Salzhauer stated that the condominium building was in the process of its 40-year recertification, and the condo tower’s roof was being revamped. She also stated that it was not known if any current construction activity may have caused the disaster.
A Miami-Dade Fire Rescue dog found one child trapped, and the team of rescuers was desperately attempting to save the trapped just after 8 AM. The rescue team believes the child was with their parents, who were killed in the collapse.
Rescuers reported that they saved a mother and her child. However, the mother’s leg required an emergency amputation procedure to extricate her from the rubble.
Since workers have not been able to determine the stability of the collapsed tower, recuse crews have not been able to start removing the massive pile of debris that remains connected to the building. The news report states that the portion of the building on the south side is newer and appears to be safe at the moment. The building’s north side is older and was evacuated.
One family member stated that she has waited outside Jackson’s Ryder Trauma Center since 7 AM. She is concerned about two of her relatives who were inside and another relative she is unable to locate. She stated that her sister-in-law, brother, and teenage niece resided in a ninth-floor unit at the condo. She said that she was able to talk to her niece before her niece’s emergency surgery at Jackson’s Ryder Trauma Center. The sixteen-year-old girl stated that she was awakened by her mother concerning the shaking building. Then next thing she knew, she felt the floor giving way and feeling the sensation of falling.
Investigators arrived at the scene to assess engineering calculations, architectural plans, construction materials, and maintenance records to ascertain what caused part of the Champlain Towers South Condo to collapse. One expert stated that the collapse was probably due to “a combination of bad things.”
Champlain Towers South Condo is one block north of the Miami Beach city limits. Surfside’s city limits and runs along Collins Avenue.
As of 8 AM EST, Sally Heyman, the Miami-Dade Commissioner, announced that 51 residents are assumed to have been living in the collapsed section of the condo tower, and most have not been accounted for. Emergency officials urge both residents to report they are safe and relatives to report missing relatives. The emergency number is 305-614-1819.
For legal help, contact Parker Waichman LLP at 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or using our live chat feature.
A Pool Contractor Reports Water in the Champlain Towers Garage
According to the Miami Herald, an experienced pool contractor who visited Champlain Towers 36 hours before the collapse reports standing water “all over the parking garage,” as well as “cracking concrete” and “severely corroded rebar” under the pool.
Serious Building Defects Were Noted in 2018
A 2018 engineering report, prepared in anticipation of a required 40-year recertification, documented a series of concerns with the building. A “major error” with “failed waterproofing” on the pool deck, traced back to the original building contract documents, was causing “major structural damage” to the concrete structural slab below. The engineer warned in his report that failure to replace the waterproofing “in the near future” would cause the concrete deterioration “to expand exponentially.”
Residents Were Warned That Structural Damage Was Getting Worse
An April letter from the president of the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association warned that “observable damage” in the building was “significantly worse” and “concrete deterioration is accelerating.” The letter from Jean Wodnicki also warned that renovations originally estimated at $9 million would now cost $16 million.
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Did you or a loved one sustain harm due to the Champlain Towers South Condo collapse? Parker Waichman LLP helps those who have suffered injuries, property damage, financial losses, or the tragic loss of a loved one obtain justice and receive full monetary compensation. Trust your case with our Champlain Towers South Condo collapse lawsuit attorneys. For a free consultation, contact our law firm today by using our live chat or calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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