“To me it’s neglect”: questions emerge about Florida building problems before the collapse
As rescuers search for 150 people still missing after a fatal condominium collapse in Surfside, Florida, questions are mounting as to who was aware of the condition of the building. As of Monday evening, at least 11 people were confirmed dead, officials said.
A 2018 engineer report, released on Saturday, noted significant structural issues caused by failed waterproofing under the pool deck. He also said that the walls, beams and columns of the parking lot had “many cracks”.
“Failed waterproofing is causing major structural damage to the structural concrete slab under these areas. Failure to replace the waterproofing in the near future will cause concrete deterioration to expand exponentially,” he said. .
The report did not say whether any of these issues could lead to a collapse.
A month after this survey was presented to residents, a city construction official told the board that the building was “in very good condition.” The official, Ross Prieto, has since denied seeing the report.
When a representative of the building’s board of directors emailed Prieto in 2019 about concerns about the building’s structure and nearby construction, Prieto replied, “I don’t. have nothing to verify “.
“The best course of action is to have someone monitor the fence, pool, and adjacent areas for damage or hire a consultant to monitor these areas as they are closest to construction,” he wrote, according to emails obtained by CBS News.
Prieto did not respond to CBS News requests for comment. He resigned his job as Surfside Building Manager last November.
Former maintenance manager William Espinosa said the building was often flooded with salt water and he would see it going through the foundation. “There was so much water, all the time, that the pumps could never keep up,” he told CBS Miami’s Jim Defede.
Some locals said theywith the building before it collapsed in the middle of the night last week. But Steve Rosenthal, who survived the collapse, said he had just learned about structural issues.
“To me that’s negligence on the part of whoever, you know, was supposed to deal with this stuff, the maintenance staff, the board, whatever the board.” , did he declare.
President Biden believes there should be an investigation into the collapse, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday. She said a number of federal resources, including the FBI and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, have been deployed to Surfside.