ENGINEERS are looking into demolishing the rest of the Miami condo building that partially collapsed as it emerged that bickering among board members delayed vital repairs.
The recommendation to knock down the part of Champlain Towers South that is still standing came after rescue crews detected that concrete slabs had started to move.
Read our Miami Beach building collapse live blog for the very latest news and updates…
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Alan Cominsky told reporters on Thursday that questions about building stability have led to concerns about the more than 300 people who have been working on the search and rescue mission.
The concrete slabs of the southern part of the 12-story building, the part that did not collapse, appeared to be moving, Cominsky said.
The movement threatens support columns in the underground parking garage.
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said that he is preparing for the possibility that the building may have to be demolished, according to WPLG.
"Once the decision is made, I didn't want there to be … another day setting up the demolition if that was the decision, so I directed my building official to start talking to those demolition companies," he said.
The decision will be made by Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, according to the outlet.
Meanwhile, 18 people have been declared dead and 145 are still unaccounted for a week after the building collapsed.
It's also now been revealed that bickering among condo board members led to a years-long delay in getting needed repairs done.
Five members of Champlain Tower South's board, including the president, quit in 2019 after what was apparently much infighting over a $15million proposal to address the building's structural issues, according to the Washington Post.
The fighting began after a 2018 engineer's report found "major structural issues" in the building.
It wasn't until April of this year that the board voted to approve the repairs.
Ex-board member Max Friedman told the Post that it took a long time to "get the ball rolling" because of the disputes and the high price tags of the repairs.
"Nobody truly believed the building was in imminent danger," he said.
Work on the building had only just begun with roof repairs when it partially collapsed in the early hours of June 24.
A tourist video shot moments before the Champlain Towers went down captured what appeared to be water pouring out of the ceiling in the building's parking garage.
Adriana Sarmiento, who shot the video, said she and her husband were swimming in the pool at the nearby Bluegreen Vacations Solara Surfside Resort when they heard a loud noise and saw the water, according to ABC News.
The exact cause of the building collapse is not yet known.
On Thursday, President Joe Biden paid a visit to the site and praised Mayor Cava and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for coming together in a time of tragedy to lead Surfside through the aftermath of the tragic collapse, despite their differences in political beliefs.
“This is life and death,” the president said. "We can do it, just the simple act of everyone doing what needs to be done makes a difference."
Biden pledged to provide any federal assistance needed to deal with the tragedy.
"There’s gonna be a lot of pain and anxiety and suffering and even the need for psychological help in the days and months that follow. And so, we’re not going anywhere," the president said.
"Whatever you need pick up the phone – for real. I’m not joking about it."
Later Thursday, Biden met with first responders who have been working tirelessly to hunt for survivors among the rubble in the seven days since the condo collapsed.
“I just wanted to come down and say thanks,” Biden told a group of uniformed personnel. “What you’re doing now is hard as hell.”
The president later met privately for several hours with family members of those affected by the collapse.
Source: Read Full Article