Condo collapse: City-hired engineer says he was denied access to collapse site to test materials
“What I would like to have access to first is the slab of the basement of the building, to go there to do the exploratory tests of the soil, the electrical foundations and all that to understand,” he added. .
The methodical excavation of the Champlain South Towers entered its fourth week, after the building collapsed in the wee hours of the morning on June 24. Teams recovered 97 bodies from the rubble and identified 94 victims on Friday.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in a previous statement, “We have a large team of engineers and other forensic experts from NIST and other federal agencies on site to perform extensive testing, measurements, photographs and 3D images, as well as the collection and marking of evidence, to collect as much data as possible to support the full investigation. “
“We don’t know if this is a problem on the ground or not. We have to do this testing and this evaluation in order to be able to understand that,” he said.
Kilsheimer said he had not yet been able to determine the cause of the collapse. While he was able to rule out some causes, he still found around 20 to 30 possible triggers.
“We do all the computer modeling and engineering of the original drawings to make sure that we believe the original designs were correct based on the code requirements at the time,” he explained.
“What we cannot do now is examine the materials used in the building to see if it meets the requirements of the drawings.”
“We’re almost there”: research efforts continue
Even though more than 22 million pounds of concrete and debris have been removed from the site, according to Miami-Dade County, crews continue to sift through the remaining piles of rubble.
But already intense work keeps getting more complicated.
“At this point in the recovery process, it has become increasingly difficult to identify the victims, and we rely heavily on the work of the medical examiner’s office and the scientific and technical process of identifying the human remains,” a Miami-Dade County press release. mentionned. “This job gets more difficult over time, even though our teams are working as hard and as fast as possible.”
The county added that it would only report the number of victims who have been identified, “out of respect for the families still waiting and to ensure that we report the most accurate numbers possible.”
The teams are almost at the bottom of the collapse site, Miami-Dade Police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta told CNN.
“Does that mean we’re almost done with the search? No. Until we clear the entire site and find more human remains, we won’t be done.”
“We’re almost there,” Zabaleta added.
And while the relocation of what was once the home of dozens of families is nearing completion, the pain within the community is going nowhere.
Flowers, letters and photos are always added to the Hope Wall, a memorial to those who were inside on the doors of the building’s tennis court.
CNN’s Tina Burnside, Rebekah Riess, Julia Griggs, Madeline Holcombe and Rosa Flores contributed to this report.