July 25, 2021

Miami-Date building collapse: Some families frustrated with search and rescue efforts

A mother, who said she was worried about her 26-year-old daughter who went missing after a building collapsed in a Florida area, has urged authorities to do more on Saturday.

“I’m a mother. I do not know the best way to go about this. … Imagine if your children were there,” the mother told state and local officials, who declined to meet with the families of the missing.

“I know you do everything you can, but that’s not enough,” he said in an emotional video posted on Instagram on Saturday.

Families of dozens of unaccounted-for people are growing impatiently following Thursday’s collapse of a condo building a few miles north of Miami Beach, searching for the quick results of search and rescue crews digging through the rubble around the clock.

Sarina Patel, who said she could not find three family members after the crash, thanked CNN for her search and rescue efforts, but said her family was “Andy”.

“We’re just hanging out there, trying to be strong. Praying for a miracle, but today we’re starting to get the Andes because there are no updates,” he said Saturday.

“We look forward to some more news as the team operates through the rubble. However, we are forever grateful for their tireless efforts,” Patel said.

Patel’s uncle, his wife and their daughter were not counted until Saturday.

The The death toll rose Up to five Saturdays, from four deaths confirmed Friday.

The victims were identified as Antonio Lozano, 83, Gladys Lozano, 79, and Manuel Lafont, 54, the Miami-Tate Police Department said in a news release Saturday night.

CNN reported that 54-year-old Stacey Pong had previously been identified.

A fifth victim has not yet been identified.

Miami-Date County Mayor Daniel Levine Kawa said Saturday that 130 people are now counted and 156 are not counted. Authorities have not determined the cause of the collapse.

Of the 136 units south of Sampline Towers, 55 sites collapsed around 1:30 a.m. Thursday, leaving large debris and objects hanging from the ground, officials said.

Surface Mayor Charles Burkett assured that search efforts would not stop until all the frustrated families had been pulled from the rubble.

“We did not stop until we were finished. We did not stop today, tomorrow or the next day. We did not stop until everyone was out of there,” Burkett told CNN. “To do that we move the sky and the earth. … We don’t have a resource problem; we have a luck problem.”

The structural report showed that there were some ‘cracks’ in the building

About three years ago, an engineer pointed out structural damage to the concrete slab below the building’s pool deck and concerns about “cracks and scattering” located in the parking garage.

A structured field survey report from October 2018 has been added to the list of public documents published overnight on the Surface Down website. The New York Times first reported on the findings of the field study

The waterproofing below the pool deck and entrance drive failed and caused “major structural damage” according to a structural field study.

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“The waterproofing pool pool and entrance drive and all gardener waterproofing below is beyond its effective life, so they should all be removed and replaced,” the report said.

“Failed waterproofing causes major structural damage to the concrete structural layer below these areas. If failure to replace the waterproofing occurs in the future, the amount of concrete decay will expand exponentially,” the survey continued.

The report said that the waterproofing was placed on a flat structure rather than a sloping concrete slab that would allow water to drain out. As a result, the vapor sat until it evaporated, which was identified as a “major error” in the report.

“Replacing the existing deck waterproofing can be very costly … disruptive and a major hindrance to the occupants of this condominium building,” the report said.

The report, whose goal is to “understand and document the extent of structural problems”, provides detailed indications of “distress / fatigue” in the parking garage.

“Numerous cracks and splinters were found in the concrete columns, beams and walls. … Although some of these damages are minor, most concrete deformations need to be repaired in a timely manner,” the report said.

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Spalling is a term used to describe concrete cracks or shattered areas.

The report, completed by Frank Morabito of Morabito Consultancy, did not specify whether the structure was in danger of collapsing.

“It is not yet clear what action the building has taken to address those cracks,” Burkett told CNN.

“We’re going to achieve what happened in this particular building,” Miami-Tate Mayor Daniel Levine Cava said.

Reviewing the report, Abiuva Aguirre, a professor of structural engineering at Drexel University, said its findings were dangerous and should have prompted further research into the building’s integrity.

Kenneth Director, a lawyer for the building’s condominium association, had previously warned against early speculation.

“Nothing like this was expected,” the director said. “At least the building was not viewed by engineers looking at it from a structural perspective.”

CNN approached the director on Saturday.

Voluntary evacuation for other Sampline towers

Surfsite building officials inspected the structure north and east of Sampline Towers and “found nothing irregular,” Burkett said Saturday.

“So it promises, but it’s not a deep dive,” he said. “We’m going to take a very deep dive into why this building fell down. I imagine it will end up being a kind of comprehensive project.”

If residents of the Sampline Towers north and east want to leave, they can, Burkett said.

The mayor noted that they are working with federal officials on relocation options.

CNN’s Jacqueline Rose, Rebecca Rice, Holly Silverman, Rosa Flores and Chuck Johnston all contributed to the report.