156 others missing in Miami: How could a 12-story building collapse?

Rescuers search the rubble for survivors.AP . image

Video from a nearby security camera shows what happened Thursday night last week: a large part of the complex, on the north side, is descending. Eight seconds later, another part collapses. Eleven seconds later, there is nothing but emptiness in a place where hundreds of people went to bed a few hours ago.

On Saturday it emerged that an engineer had already warned three years ago of “significant structural damage” to the building. Newspaper New York times Watch a report describing the extensive damage to the concrete foundation under the pond. There was also an abundance of cracking and collapsing in the columns, beams and walls in the car park below the complex – damage likely from years of exposure to salty sea air.

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At the time, architect Frank Morabita urged the building’s management to make quick repairs. A multi-million dollar refund has been developed and will be launched soon – after more than 2.5 years of warning from management.