- An engineering firm in 2018 advised the board of the Miami condo that collapsed to make more than $9 million in repairs.
- After the collapse, the building’s structural integrity came into question, with one report saying the condo showed “major structural damage” in 2018.
- At least five people are dead from the collapse, and more than 150 people are unaccounted for.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
An engineering firm in 2018 advised the board of the condo that collapsed in Florida on Thursday to make more than $9 million in repairs to the building’s structural integrity, according to new emails released by the town of Surfside, Florida.
A section of Champlain Towers South, located on Collins Avenue in Surfside, Florida, crumbled just after 1 a.m. on Thursday. Officials said at least five people have died in the collapse of the 12-story building. More than 150 people still remain unaccounted for, days after the collapse.
New emails from an engineering firm, Morabito Consultants, Inc., that inspected the building show that necessary repairs would have cost more than $9 million.
Morabito Consultants, Inc. put together a comprehensive package in October 2018 documenting “conditions that require future repairs and maintenance.” The package was addressed to Maggie Manrara, treasurer of the board of Champlain Towers South.
“The goal of our study was to understand and document the extent of structural issues that require repair and/or remediation in the immediate and near future,” Morabito wrote in an email to Manrara. “As a part of this report, MC has prepared an estimate (that is attached to this report) of the probable construction cost to construct the required structural repairs & maintenance that MC recommends being completed.”
Manrara did not immediately reply to Insider’s request for comment.
It’s unclear whether the damage documented by Morabito in this report was the cause of the collapse. But in 2018, Morabito warned the board that the repair needs should be taken into account seriously.
“These documents will enable the Condominium Board to adequately assess the overall condition of the building, notify tenants on how they may be affected, and provide a safe and functional infrastructure for the future,” Morabito Consultants, Inc. said in the email.
The newly released emails follow documents that put into question the infrastructural integrity of the building.
The condo in 2018, for example, showed signs of “major structural damage.” Additionally, an engineering consultant found evidence of “abundant” cracking and fragmentation in the building’s columns and beams, according to an inspection report.
The son of a woman who is now missing told CNN she heard creaking noises the day before the collapse. Pablo Rodriguez said his mom called him the day before and said “she had woken up around 3 [or] 4 in the morning and had heard like some creaking noises. They were loud enough to wake her.”
And a 2020 study found that the land around the building had shown signs of sinking decades ago.