SURFSIDE, Fla .– Rescuers sifting through the debris of a collapsed Florida condominium building continued their meticulous work Monday as city officials remained hopeful of finding survivors in the rubble.
The death toll from the collapse rose to nine on Sunday after first responders removed four other bodies from the site of Champlain Towers South, a 12-story condominium built in Surfside, Fla., In 1981. The mayor of the Miami-Dade County Daniella Levine Cava said on Sunday that additional human remains had also been removed from the rubble.
More than 150 people are still missing after part of the building collapsed last Thursday. The video shows the center of the wing collapsing before the other end fell.
Meanwhile, Surfside officials over the weekend posted dozens of documents on their website, some of which just a few years ago warned of “major structural damage” and the potential for “exponential damage. “.
Collapse of a building in Miami:Multiple factors could have contributed, experts say
Here’s what we know on Monday:
Tour collapse site family members missing
As the pace of recovery remains slow for search and rescue teams following a painstakingly detailed process, family members of the 152 people still missing were given a private tour of the area on Sunday afternoon. .
About 100 family members visited the site, which suffered from electrical fires and flooding that slowed recovery efforts.
During Sunday’s search efforts, crews dug a 40-foot tunnel, providing access to new areas of the collapse, but efforts were temporarily halted as the rubble moved.
Levine Cava said the four bodies found on Sunday were the result of that effort.
“We just need a few more miracles every day,” added Seaside Mayor Charles Burkett.
Inspection reports detail “major structural damage” to the garage, at least $ 9 million in repairs
Less than three years before the collapse, engineers noted design flaws and failing waterproofing that would lead to “exponential damage,” according to documents released Friday night.
A letter to the treasurer of the condominium association on October 8, 2018, included pages of recommended repairs. One of them warned of a waterproofing failure causing “major structural damage” to a concrete slab above a garage and said that “If we don’t replace the waterproofing in the near future, the extent of damage to concrete will increase exponentially “.
The author warned that the design was flawed, that the replacement would be complicated, and that it was a “systemic problem”.
Learn more about Surfside documents:Miami area collapsed condo inspection reports detail “major structural damage” to garage
The documents also indicate that the repairs were estimated to be at least $ 9 million. A resident told USA TODAY he recalls discussions of costs of up to $ 15 million.
Emails released by the city also said that the then-condominium association vice president sent the report, which included information about the slab and damaged concrete, to a city construction official as soon as possible. November 13, 2018.
The issues described in that report could indicate there were other unseen issues, said Gregg Schlesinger, general contractor and Fort Lauderdale lawyer who has handled construction defect lawsuits.
“It appears that (the inspectors) may not have been able to examine structural elements in other parts of the building,” Schlesinger said. “There were probably similar water issues elsewhere.”
However, more than a dozen experts who spoke to USA TODAY failed to reach a consensus on the causes of the collapse. Some have pointed out the rise in sea level and the corrosive effect of salt water brought by the rising tides. Others questioned the stability of the underlying soil or more mundane issues such as poor construction or lax monitoring.
The names of the victims of the collapse revealed
Among those killed in the disaster were Antonio Lozano, 83, and Gladys Lozano, 79, a married couple about to celebrate their 59th wedding anniversary. The couple, both Cuban emigrants, had dinner with their son, Sergio Lozano, hours before the collapse, he told WPLG-TV from Miami. If there is any solace in their death, he said, it is knowing that the two “went together and went quickly.”
The other identified deaths are residents Manuel LaFont, 54; Stacie Fang, 54; Léon Oliwkowicz, 80 years old; Christina Beatriz Elvira, 74; Luis Bermudez, 26 years old; and Anna Ortiz, 46 years old.
Missing:More than 150 people are still missing in a building collapse in Miami. Here’s what we know about them.
Fang’s teenage son, Handler, was rescued by a nearby resident, Nicholas Balboa, who was walking his dog near the buildings and heard his screams.
LaFont was asleep when the building fell, his ex-wife, Adriana LaFont, told USA TODAY Network. The 42-year-old said the debris looked like a war zone. “When I saw him, I almost died,” LaFont said in Spanish. “I felt like those walls were falling on me too.”
Among those missing were many South Americans and members of the Surfside Jewish community. JetBlue said on Sunday that one of its flight attendants was among the missing. A doctor, a teacher and a yoga teacher were also missing.
Contributors: Elizabeth Weise, Kyle Bagenstose, Trevor Hughes, Elinor Aspegren, Erin Mansfield, Aleszu Bajak, Christine Fernando and Romina Ruiz-Goiriena