The building manager was on the roof of the Surfside condominium just hours before the collapse
(NEXSTAR) – The Surfside, Florida building manager said it was only on the roof of Champlain Towers South for 2 hours before it collapsed on Thursday.
Jim McGuinness told an emergency meeting on Friday 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 hadn’t seen anything to worry about at the time, nor any âexcessive amount of equipmentâ that could have set off 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 forever changed Florida building codes, so this terrible tragedy, which is a national tragedy, is going to change building codes when it comes to certification,” McGuinness said, The Post reported. .
Rescue workers are still looking for signs of survivors at the scene of the collapse despite a fire burning in the rubble, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said at a press briefing Saturday morning. So far, no other survivors had been located since the previous briefing. A total of 127 people have been counted, 159 are still missing and 4 have been confirmed dead.
The mayor added during Saturday’s briefing that buildings over 40 in Miami-Dade will be audited within the next 30 days and will need to undergo a recertification process.
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 that the beachfront condominium had “major structural damage” to a concrete structural slab under its pool deck, although it was not not clear whether this 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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