Miami building collapse – Experts warned last year condo had been SINKING at 'an alarming rate' since the 1990s

EXPERTS warned last year that the Miami Beach condo, which collapsed at around 1.30am on Thursday, had been sinking at "an alarming rate" since the 1990s.

The shocking high-rise building collapse left at least one person dead, 99 others reported missing, and 102 people accounted for.


Dozens were pulled from the block as around 80 emergency crews and five state agencies responded to the incident in Surfside.

As many people are left wondering why the collapse occurred, a researcher at Florida International University has given some insight as to a possible reason why the beachfront condo building unexpectedly crumbled.

A 2020 study by Shimon Wdowinski, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environment, determined the condo building to be unstable, USA Today reported.

According to the study, the building, which was built in 1981, has been sinking at an "alarming rate" since the 1990s.

When Wdowinski learned of the Champlain Towers South condominium collapse, he immediately remembered the building from the study.



"I looked at it this morning and said, ‘Oh my god.’ We did detect that," Wdowinski said, according to USA Today.

Wdowinski — who insisted his findings are not intended to suggest a reason why the collapse took place — said the building was sinking at a rate of approximately two millimeters a year in the 1990s.

Since then, the sinking rate could have either slowed down or sped up, he noted.

Wdowinski said the level of sinking that was measured in the 1990s normally leads to an "impact" in buildings and their structures

"We saw this building had some kind of unusual movement," he said about the Champlain Towers South condominium.


Ryan Shamet, a professor of engineering at the University of North Florida, told USA Today that buildings in Florida are monitored with the help of satellites and drones.

He explained: "Structural health monitoring is already there.

"But it's hard because we don't have the resources yet to monitor every single structure. You kind of have to know if there's an issue first before you start monitoring it."

A large section of the Champlain Towers South apartment building was captured on footage collapsing into a pile of rubble near Collins Avenue on 88th Street, NBC Miami reported.

The fire department said this evening that out of the 37 pulled from the rubble and out of the 11 people injured, four patients were "transported," adding that they were placing solar devices and cameras to locate victims.

Firefighters heard banging under the rubble but not distinguishable voices as the wreckage probe continues.


Engineers will be determining what caused the disaster when the search and rescue effort concludes.

Officials confirmed that 55 apartments caved in, causing multiple injuries as 35 people were pulled from the wreckage, with 10 injured, and two hospitalized – one of whom passed away.

Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Ray Jadallah said they heard sounds from under the rubble and that "all operations are occurring underneath" it.

Crews have confirmed that people are trapped under the rubble but the number remains unknown.

Another video shows a little boy being pulled from the wreckage by a firefighter.

Miami Dade authorities declared a "Level 5" mass casualty event meaning statewide emergency resources are required, according to reports.

One witness, who was in a neighboring building, said the collapse felt like a "tornado or earthquake".

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