A building official was on the roof of the Surfside condo just hours before the collapse

(NEXSTAR) – The Surfside, Florida building official said he was on the roof of the South Champlain Towers just 14 hours before they collapsed on Thursday.

Jim McGuinness said in an emergency meeting Friday that he was inspecting work on the building’s roof anchors, which are used by window cleaning crews, the Palm Beach Post reported. McGuinness added that he saw nothing of concern at the time, nor any “inordinate amount of equipment” that might have raised red flags.

In the aftermath of the collapse, however, he believes Thursday’s tragedy will change inspection processes and building codes across the county, if not the country.

“Hurricane Andrew changed Florida’s building codes forever, so this terrible tragedy, which is a national tragedy, is going to change building codes as far as certification goes,” McGuinness said, the Post reported. .


Rescuers are still searching for signs of survivors at the scene of the collapse despite a fire burning through the rubble, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said at a press conference Saturday morning. So far, no additional survivors have been located since the previous briefing. A total of 127 people have been found, 159 are still missing and 4 have been confirmed dead.

The mayor added during Saturday’s briefing that buildings over 40 years old in Miami-Dade will be audited within the next 30 days and will need to undergo a recertification process.

As of Saturday morning, 127 people have been found, 159 are still missing and 4 have been confirmed dead as a result of the collapse. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Third-party engineers are currently required to inspect buildings over 40 years old in Miami-Dade. At Friday’s emergency meeting, McGuinness said the South Tower had just undergone such an inspection, although the results were not released to the city, the Post reported.

A 2018 engineering report, meanwhile, showed the beachfront condominium had “major structural damage” to a concrete structural slab under the pool deck, despite not being unclear whether that particular damage contributed to Thursday’s collapse, the Associated Press reported.

The cause of the collapse is still undetermined, but a “full and thorough” investigation by federal, state and local investigators is underway, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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