Footage appears to show concrete debris and gushing water in the garage of the doomed Miami condo, just seven minutes before the building collapsed.
Chilling new footage appears to show concrete debris littering the floor and water gushing from the garage ceiling of the doomed Miami condo – just seven minutes before the building collapsed last Friday.
The video, recorded at 1.18am on June 24 and shared to TikTok, zooms in on the entrance to the gated garage beneath the north side of Champlain Towers South – showing water raining from the ceiling. The building was reported to have crumbled at around 1.25am.
Adriana Sarmiento, who captured the footage, toldthat she and her husband were on vacation and swimming in the pool at a nearby resort when they heard a loud noise. The couple went out into the street to investigate, recording the water flowing from the garage and what appears to be rubble on the ground.
Ms Sarmiento said she tried to alert the residents about the danger but after a while, thought she and her husband were worrying over nothing because “things like that don’t happen in America”.
Authorities announced overnight the recovery of six more bodies from the wreckage of the 12-storey tower, raising the confirmed death toll to 18, while 147 people remain unaccounted for.
The search for any survivors since the tragedy had continued “24/7, without stop”, Miami-Dade county Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told reporters.
“We are doing everything humanly possible, and then some, to get through this tragedy, and we are doing it together,” she said.
Ms Levine Cava and other state officials have already promised an in-depth inquiry into the disaster.
Condo’s deterioration was accelerating in April, letter reveals
The footage comes after a letter sent in April from the president of the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association said that damage to the building’s basement garage had “gotten significantly worse” since an inspection about two-and-a-half years earlier, warning that deterioration of the building’s concrete was “accelerating”.
The April 9 correspondence, obtained byfrom a family member of two missing residents, suggested that millions of dollars in needed repairs had been a subject of frustration among residents.
“We have discussed, debated and argued for years now, and will continue to do so for years to come as different items come into play,” Jean Wodnicki, who survived the tragedy, wrote.
Ms Wodnicki provided an overview of the major repairs required for the building over seven pages.
“When you can visually see the concrete spalling (cracking), that means that the rear holding it together is rusting and deteriorating beneath the surface,” she said.
She added that “when performing any concrete restoration work, it is impossible to know the extent of the damage to the underlying rear until the concrete is opened up”.
“Oftentimes the damage is more extensive than can be determined by inspection of the surface,” she said.
Ms Wodnicki wasn’t the first to flag the building’s safety. Three years ago, anto the concrete below the pool deck and “abundant” cracking and crumbling of the columns, beams and walls of the underground garage.
The engineer’s report, which included photos of cracks in the columns and concrete tumbling that had exposed steel reinforcements on the deck, was intended to help shape plans for a repair project set to take place soon, more than two-and-a-half years after the warnings were issued.
“Though some of this damage is minor, most of the concrete deterioration needs to be repaired in a timely fashion,” the engineer, Frank Morabito, wrote in the 2018 report.
He also added that the waterproofing below the pool deck and entrance drive was failing, “causing major structural damage to the concrete structural slab below those areas”.
“Failure to replace the waterproofing in the near future will cause the extent of the concrete deterioration to expand exponentially,” he added.
Mr Morabito gave no indication that the building was at risk of collapse, though he noted that the needed repairs would be aimed at “maintaining the structural integrity of the building”.
The condominium complex was preparing for a recertification that is required by the state law of similar buildings in the area that have reached 40 years of age and was aware that repairs were needed for it to pass the inspection.