An engineering firm said it’s “deeply troubled” by the Florida condo collapse.
Morabito Consultants documented “major structural damage” at the building in 2018.
Officials have confirmed five deaths so far, with 156 people still unaccounted for.
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A structural engineering firm that warned in 2018 of structural damage at the Champlain Tower condominium building released a statement on Saturday, calling Thursday’s collapse “tragic.”
“We are deeply troubled by this building collapse and are working closely with the investigating authorities to understand why the structure failed,” the statement from Morabito Consultants said.
The 12-story building fell in a sudden pancake collapse at 1:30 a.m. local time on June 24, killing at least five people and leaving another 156 unaccounted for as of Saturday evening.
Newly released documents from the town of Surfside, where the collapse occurred, revealed that Morabito Consultants documented serious structural issues throughout the building in 2018 – particularly in the parking garage, pool area, and on the balconies.
The report described failed waterproofing that caused “major structural damage” to the concrete below the pool deck and entrance drive, as well as “abundant cracking” in the concrete columns, beams, and walls of the parking garage.
It’s unclear if any of those issues flagged in the 2018 report contributed to Thursday’s collapse. Officials told reporters in a press conference Saturday that the cause of the collapse will be investigated after the search-and-rescue efforts finish.
Morabito Consultants’ statement noted that the 2018 report had “detailed significant cracks and breaks in the concrete, which required repairs to ensure the safety of the residents and the public.”
The statement also said the firm had provided the condo association with an estimate of what the necessary repairs would cost and had been working on a “40-year Building Repair and Restoration” plan since June 2020.
The firm added that they only provide engineering consulting services – not construction or repair services.
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