August 3, 2021

in a letter, residents were worried about the dilapidated building

At least eleven people died in the collapse of the building dubbed Champlain Towers South, a 12-story residential building in Surfide, a suburb of Miami, Florida, in the early hours of June 24.

Five days later, Tuesday, June 29, hundreds of rescue workers from Miami-Dade County, supported by reinforcements from across the state of Florida and even from Israel and Mexico, were busy finding 150 people missing. among the rubble, including dozens of Latin Americans from Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay, Chile and Uruguay, as questions grew over the causes of the tragedy. Unfortunately, for four days, no survivor has been found in the ruins of the building.

Read also Florida building collapse: searches for the missing continue

A courier was alarmed about the condition of the building

In a letter dated April 9 and addressed to the assembly of co-owners, Jean Wodnicki, president of the association of co-owners, indicated that the building was suffering from “Degradations” who “Accelerated” and pointed out that the situation was getting worse. According to this letter unveiled by USA Today and the Wall Street Journal, some $ 15 million worth of work was needed to bring it up to standard.

Since 2018, “The degradation of the concrete has accelerated, the situation of the roof has considerably worsened”, was alarmed Jean Wodnicki. As early as 2018, a report on the condition of the building noted “Major structural damage”, as well as « fissures » in the basement of the building, according to documents released by the Town of Surfside.

“Waterproofing under the edge of the swimming pool and the access road for vehicles (…) has passed its useful life and must therefore be completely removed and replaced ‘, wrote in this document the expert Frank Morabito, calling for repairs “Within a reasonable time” without however raising any risk of collapse.

President Biden expected on site

“There will be a thorough and complete investigation into the reasons which led to this tragedy”Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Monday. Local authorities have promised a full investigation into the causes of the deadly collapse.

Joe Biden is scheduled to travel with his wife to the town of Surfside on Thursday, the White House said on Tuesday. To reporters who asked him if he planned to visit Florida, the president replied earlier in the morning: ” Yes I hope (…). As fast as we can. Maybe as early as Thursday. “ In the process, the White House issued a press release confirming this date.

As early as Friday, the American president expressed his solidarity in “A very difficult time”. “There are so many people waiting – are they alive? what’s going to happen ? -, so we are wholeheartedly with them ”, he said at a press conference at the White House.

Le Monde with AFP and Reuters