Search and rescue teams have found a body in the rubble of the site of the 12-story beachfront condo building north of Miami, bringing the total wealth toll to at least five people as 156 remain unaccounted for.
On Saturday, the Miami-Dade. County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said at a press conference that, “Today, our search and rescue teams found another body in the rubble, and as well our search has revealed some human remains.” She also said three bodies that had previously been recovered have been identified and the families have been notified.
The building, Champlain Towers South, was built in 1981 and was due for its 40-year inspection before its devastating collapse.
The reasons for the collapse are still not known. Engineers believe that the corrosiveness of sea water may have effected the concrete and the stability of the ground underneath. Investigators are looking into additional issues including the possibility of poor construction and lack of appropriate oversight and upkeep.
Reports surfaced online Friday that said the building was in need of serious repair. An inspection report from October 2018, for example, found “abundant” cracking in the columns, beams, and walls in the garage under the tower that fell. A deterioration in the concrete was noted.
Experts say it will take time to understand the final causes for the building’s destruction. Meanwhile, Levine Cava has ordered the county’s Department of Economic and Regulatory Resources to immediately begin an audit of all buildings near the 40-year mark and beyond. She wants the audits completed in 30 days explaining, “we want to make sure every building has completed its certification process and move swiftly to remediate any issues that have been identified in that audit.”