Florida Condo Collapse: Tourists Recorded Water Pouring from Parking Garage Minutes Before Fall
Last week, a 2018 report surfaced about warnings from an engineer about "major structural damage" at the Florida condominium complex
New footage captured moments before the collapse of Champlain Towers South condo in Surfside, Florida has been uncovered.
Tourists Adriana Sarmiento and Roberto Castillero were staying at a nearby hotel when they shot the video, which shows water and debris pouring into the parking garage from a broken pipe — an area that inspectors have said required repairs years earlier, CNN reports.
Sarmiento told CNN that she became concerned after their building shook and she saw pieces of concrete falling to the ground. She and Castillero tried to run outside to warn residents who were on their balconies.
"I never thought that the building was going to collapse," Castillero told CNN. "I told my wife, 'Don't worry about it. It's not going to collapse.'"
Moments later, half the building crumbled. It took the couple several moments to realize what had happened.
"That image remains in my mind," Sarmiento said. "It remains very difficult thinking of everyone who lived there."
The official death toll has now risen to nine as more victims from the tragic incident have been identified. As rescue efforts move forward, 156 people continue to remain unaccounted for.
Last week, a 2018 report surfaced about warnings from an engineer about "major structural damage" at the Florida condominium complex.
Among a series of documents released by Surfside, the engineering report noted damage to the concrete slab below the pool deck, as well as "abundant" damage to columns, beams, and walls of the parking garage located below the building, according to The New York Times.
An official cause of the collapse is under investigation and has yet to be determined.
Shortly after the collapse, professor at Florida International University has come forward to claim that the building, constructed in 1981, has been sinking since the 1990s.
Shimon Wdowinski, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at the college, said his 2020 study of the site "detected" the collapse of the 12-story high-rise, USA Today reported. Wdowinski said the study indicated the building was sinking 2 millimeters a year in the 1990s, noting, however, there was rate could have slowed or accelerated in the years since.
"I looked at it this morning and said, 'Oh my god.' We did detect that," he told the outlet. "It was a byproduct of analyzing the data. We saw this building had some kind of unusual movement."
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Champlain Towers South was undergoing a standard recertification process, involving electrical and structural inspections, at the time of the tragedy. The process had not yet been completed.