At least 9 dead after partial building collapse near Miami

By Zamira Rahim, Peter Wilkinson and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 6:28 a.m. ET, June 28, 2021
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5:01 a.m. ET, June 27, 2021

Engineer raised concerns about structural damage at Surfside condominium in 2018 report

From CNN's Chuck Johnston

Rescue workers search the rubble of the Champlain Towers South condominium, Saturday, June 26, in the Surfside area of Miami.
Rescue workers search the rubble of the Champlain Towers South condominium, Saturday, June 26, in the Surfside area of Miami. Lynne Sladky/AP

A structural field survey report completed nearly three years before the collapse of the Champlain Towers south condominium complex in Surfside raised concerns about structural damage to the concrete slab below the pool deck and “cracking and spalling” located in the parking garage.

The report from October 2018 was included in a series of public records documents that were published overnight on the Surfside, Florida town website.  The New York Times was the first media outlet to publish a story about the field survey report.

Page seven of the report, the goal of which was to "understand and document the extent of structural issues that require(d) repair and/or remediation in the immediate and near future," detailed signs of “distress/fatigue” in the parking garage:

Abundant cracking and spalling of various degrees was observed in the concrete columns, beams and walls. Several sizeable spalls were noted in both the topside of the entrance drive ramp and underside of the pool/ entrance drive/ planter slabs, which included instances with exposed, deteriorating rebar. Though some of this damage is minor, most of the concrete deterioration needs to be repaired in a timely fashion.” 

Spalling is a term used to describe areas of concrete that have cracked or crumbled.

The 2018 report also noted that "many of the previous garage concrete repairs" were "failing."

The report also said the waterproofing below the pool deck was failing and causing "major structural damage."

“…the waterproofing below the pool deck and Entrance Drive as well as all of the planter waterproofing is beyond its useful life and therefore must all be completely removed and replaced. The failed waterproofing is causing major structural damage to the concrete structural slab below these areas. Failure to replace the waterproofing in the near future will cause the extent of the concrete deterioration to expand exponentially,” the report read. 

It further noted that "the replacement of the existing deck waterproofing will be extremely expensive...be disruptive and create a major disturbance to the occupants of this condominium building."

The report, which didn't give any indication that the structure was at risk of collapse, was completed by Frank Morabito with Morabito Consultants. CNN reached out to Morabito Consultants on Friday who offered no comment.

An attorney for the building's condominium association, Kenneth Direktor, warned against early speculation. The building, he told CNN on Friday, had been subject to a series of inspections "over the last several months" as part of its milestone 40-year safety certification process. 

"Nothing like this was foreseeable," Direktor said. "At least it wasn't seen by the engineers who were looking at the building from a structural perspective."

CNN reached out to Kenneth Direktor on Saturday for comment.