Possible Structural Damage Behind Miami Building's Huge Collapse
Eleven people confirmed dead and 150 people unaccounted for after building collapsed in Florida.
MIAMI, FLORIDA — Eleven people have been confirmed dead and 150 people are unaccounted for after a residential building collapsed in Surfside, Florida on Thursday, according to CNN.
The cause of the collapse is not yet known. However, a 2018 engineer's report described the flat surface around the pool deck as a "major error" because it allowed water to build up on top of it. This build-up caused "major structural damage" to the concrete slab below, the report said.
Inside the parking garage beneath the pool deck, the report noted both cracks in columns and cracks to the ceiling, with some previous repairs to these cracks deemed unsuccessful due to "poor workmanship."
This account was corroborated by a commercial pool contractor, who saw significant water damage directly below the pool just 36 hours before the collapse, according to The Miami Herald. The contractor said he also saw large pools of standing water in the parking garage and was told by one building employee that they pumped the pool equipment room so frequently that pump motors had to be replaced every two years.
The building's structure may also have been affected by the fact it had been sinking at a rate of two millimeters per year in the 1990s, according to a Florida International University Study published in the Ocean and Coastal Management journal. However, the study's author was cautious about declaring this a cause of the collapse.
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