Live Updates

At least 11 dead after partial building collapse near Miami

Couple explains why they aren't leaving sister tower of collapsed condo

What we know so far

  • At least 11 people are dead and 150 people are unaccounted for after a residential building partially collapsed in Surfside, Florida, Thursday.
  • Search and rescue teams continue to race to find the missing. Emergency officials are also asking people to call 305-614-1819 if they have relatives who are unaccounted for.
  • The cause of the collapse is still unknown, but new details are emerging about the integrity of the structure noted in an engineering report in 2018.

Our live coverage has ended, but you can read more about the collapse here.

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Here's the latest on the Florida condo collapse

While families endure a fifth day of anguish waiting learn the fate of 150 loved ones, a sobering reality is setting in.

“We know time is of the essence,” Maggie Castro of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said Monday.

“We’re still in a rescue mode, but as you can imagine, we’re starting to understand that it’s going to be less likely that we’re going to be finding survivors.”

No survivors have been found in more than a day in Surfside, Florida, where 55 condo units of Champlain Towers South crashed to the ground Thursday.

Here’s the latest:

The search: The death toll rose to 11 after searchers found two victims Monday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said. The number of missing people decreased to 150, and the number of people who have been accounted for increased to 136, the mayor said.

Florida State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said rescue workers are working day and night to find survivors. More than 400 rescue workers are assigned to the search, with about 200 scouring the wreckage at any given time, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Alan Cominsky said. The search has been treacherous, as rescuers have been stymied by fire and the constant threat of further collapse.

2018 report raises alarm: A 2018 report by the structural engineering firm Morabito Consultants “detailed significant cracks and breaks in the concrete,” the firm said in a statement Saturday.

The report didn’t say whether the structure was at risk of collapse, but the group said it provided an estimate to the condo association to “make the extensive and necessary repairs.” The association retained Morabito again in June 2020 for the building’s 40-year repair and restoration process, according to the statement.

The firm said it “exclusively provides” engineering consulting services and does not provide construction-related services.

“We are deeply troubled by this building collapse and are working closely with the investigating authorities to understand why the structure failed,” Morabito Consultants said.

Residents raised concerns: Eliana Salzhauer, one of three town commissioners for Surfside, Florida, told CNN Sunday night that survivors of the collapse she encountered have said they felt shaking during construction on a nearby building in recent years. Salzhauer said some of the survivors told her they were bothered by the shaking of their building that occurred while a high-rise was being constructed next door. They told her there was shaking, cracking and water leaking in the garage, she said.

Read more about the collapse here.

Family of missing woman say they are trying to stay hopeful

Judy Spiegel remains unaccounted for

The husband of a woman who remains missing following the condo collapse told CNN he was encouraged to see first responders working around the clock.

“I have 100% faith in a lot that’s going on here,” Kevin Spiegel told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Monday as he awaits word on his wife, Judy Spiegel.

He and his two sons, Josh and Michael Spiegel, also wish the process would move quicker. 

“Honestly, I think we all want more information. It’s coming slowly,” Michael Spiegel told CNN.

Officials have held two meetings over Zoom daily to update the families on the progress. “But we’d always like more information and we wish this process obviously is going a little quicker than it is,” Michael Spiegel said.

Josh Spiegel, a surgeon in Orlando who has worked in the trauma unit, told Blitzer, “Out of all the things I’ve seen in my job, this takes everything to a whole other level. I don’t think anything that I’ve seen through the horrific events I have seen matches this at all and to make it that much worse, it’s personal.”

“I understand the methods that they are using to try to get people out but we need them to work faster. I understand what the true time frame this needs to happen and the fact they’ve only been able to find 10 people so far is not reassuring but we’re trying to stay very hopeful and we are just praying and praying for some good news,” he added.

Kevin Spiegel and his wife lived in the building for five years. They will be married for 39 years this Thanksgiving.

“She’s part of me. You can’t divide the two. We’re the same,” he said.

State fire marshal describes dangerous conditions at collapse site: "We're not in a normal environment"

Lightning is presenting a challenge to rescue efforts as crews work to clear debris from the site of the Champlain Towers South condominium, State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said.

“The men and women of the task force as they are working on the hill removing debris to save lives, they are also standing on a giant piece of metal. All the rebar is an attraction to lightning,” Patronis told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer during the Situation Room. “It can hamper their ability because when lightning strikes then they have to clear the site.

Patronis said the operation is still a search and rescue.

“We look at what happened in Haiti, eight days without food and water and where a woman was found after 28 days without access to water,” Patronis said. “The men and women, there’s 368 that are working here right now, the dogs are an amazing part of their tool of trade that they work with. But as they work the site, they are hampered by incredibly large pieces of concrete, some of which they move weigh 25,000 pounds.”

Patronis said overnight teams moved a 25,000-pound piece of concrete, which wound up being a balcony. Patronis said moving debris of this size will shift the pile, so it requires numerous engineers to sign off on it.

“If the pile shifts while men and women are on it, they will go tumbling. If they go tumbling, then there’s no telling what type of injury they can fall into because of rebar standing up like spikes. In a normal environment, those rebars will be covered with plastic caps,” Patronis said. “We’re not in a normal environment.”

Patronis said rescue crews are working around the clock in 12-hour shifts. 

“You can imagine that the task force members from Miami-Dade and the city of Miami are a little more emotionally attached to this because this is their neighbors, their loved ones that are here. That is also an incredible motivator to all the other task forces and the efforts they have to support their brother and sisters in effort,” Patronis said. “I’ve seen the absolute best I can ever imagine right now. These men and women aren’t pausing. They continue to have a type of momentum and motivation that is really, really inspiring. Proud to be here.”

Town of Surfside hires structural engineer to study condo collapse

Allyn Kilsheimer, the structural engineer hired by the town of Surfside, Florida, to study Thursday’s condo collapse, said he has already begun examining the building and will use a meticulous, computer-assisted process of elimination to attempt to identify the causes of the disaster. 

He explained his process. 

“Generally speaking, you visit the site, you try to look at drawings to the extent they are available, you listen to all the clatter that happens when these things happen, and just keep that in the back of your head,” said Kilsheimer, the president of KCE Structural Engineers. “And then what I do is I come up with in my head a listing, based on my experience, of here are all the things that I think could cause this kind of a problem, and then you begin assessing all that information… and you eliminate those possibilities one at a time… and then as you’re doing this you come up with other possibilities.” 

“Unless it’s a plane or a bomb that you know triggered this whole thing, sometimes you can’t get it down to one cause. Sometimes… we don’t have enough information to decide between x, y and z, so it’s some combination of x, y and z,” he said. “But you don’t know what you’re going to end up with until you finish the whole study.” 

Asked how long the study could take, Kilsheimer responded, “There’s no way I can put a timeframe. We’ve done these things and much more minor things can take a few months, very major things [can] take a lot more than a few months.” 

Kilsheimer said the nature of this collapse could complicate the examination “because you don’t know what was there, even if you have drawings of what was supposed to be there.” He said construction never perfectly matches design, so the building may have differed from the drawings of its layout. 

“It’s a huge puzzle,” he said. 

Kilsheimer’s firm has consulted on other high-profile collapses, including that of a pedestrian bridge at Florida International University in 2018 and “the emergency recovery and restoration of the Pentagon after the September 11 attack,” according to his firm’s site.

Death toll in building collapse rises to 11

The death toll in the Surfside, Florida, building collapse has risen to 11, according to Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

The number of people accounted for now stands at 136, and 150 people are unaccounted for, she said.

Levine Cava said the numbers are “very fluid and they will change.”

“We are continually auditing the list and getting more calls and information from family members. Please stand by for more information,” the mayor said.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava gives update:


Miami-Dade mayor vows to "get to the bottom" of what went wrong in building collapse

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava vowed Monday to “get to the bottom of what went wrong” in Thursday’s partial building collapse. 

“So, we’re focused, as I’ve said, on the search and rescue, and the structural engineers are making sure that our rescue workers are safe, that the building that remains stays intact and so on, but of course it’s all evidence, and we are going to get to the bottom of this, what went wrong,” the mayor told CNN’s Jake Tapper.

“We’re going to make sure that it doesn’t ever, ever happen again. And we can understand truly what are the structural risks that were taken here, if any,” she said.

Tapper questioned Levine Cava on the impression that Florida is a state where real estate developers have more power than regulators.

“I know there’s going to be changes in the law, there will be changes at the state, and at the county and the city levels, and we have already started to the initiation of some changes that we could take administratively, and I know our county commission is going to be taking action,” she said. “We have the best building code possible based on Hurricane Andrew’s, lessons learned. Sad but true, we’re going to learn from this devastating experience as well.”

Surfside official says 2018 report on building "reads like a standard inspection report"

Tina Paul, vice mayor of Surfside, told CNN’s Jake Tapper Monday that she saw the 2018 structural field survey report on the Champlain Towers South condominium and it “reads like a standard inspection report.” 

“You have to realize these buildings are old. It depends on the maintenance, it depends on when they were built, and it depends on the level of maintenance they’ve been doing,” Paul told Tapper. “A building like that should not collapse in this sort of way, based on routine maintenance.”

Paul, however, added that there were “severe issues” in the report but “the work was starting to get underway.” She noted that she personally was not aware of the report until it was released to the media, and she has never received any complaints. 

“Personally, I respond to my emails I respond to phone calls, and the issues that were brought to my attention was the beach path being closed, and only recently we had an issue about the tar smell from the roof repair. So those are the only things that came to my attention. I wish something had come to my attention I certainly would have looked into it,” she said.

First individual lawsuit filed against condo association over Surfside building collapse

The first individual lawsuit, and second overall, has been filed against the Champlain Towers South condominium association by a resident who survived Thursday’s partial collapse. 

Plaintiff Steve Rosenthal’s attorney Bob McKee said that his client is looking for an undisclosed amount of monetary compensation, as well as a jury trial. 

Rosenthal was standing right next to Champlain Tower South when it fell, McKee told CNN, and not only lost his home and his personal property, but inhaled “demolition dust that did who knows what to the immune system.” 

According to the filing, the condominium association was negligent in “all aspects of reasonable care pertaining to its duties,” which in turn “led to the horrific cause of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South, causing injury and damage to the Plaintiff and the loss of all of his real and personal property.”

McKee said that events like the partial collapse at Champlain Towers South must not be allowed to happen again. 

“It’s not a solitary event. The degradation of these buildings happens all the time,” McKee said. “Will the collapse happen again? Maybe not. Who knows what will finally be the straw that breaks the back?” 

CNN has reached out to legal representation for the Champlain Towers South condominium association and has not received a response at this time. 

Search and rescue physician "still hopeful" for survivors after building collapse

 Dr. Benjamin Abo

The medical director of the Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 1, Dr. Benjamin Abo, said he is “still hopeful” that his team will find survivors.

“I pray and I work hard hoping that we’re going to get some more people,” Abo told CNN Newsroom Monday afternoon. “But like I said, I’m cautiously optimistic as time goes on. And this is as a trained rescuer, and also a member of the community.”

Abo told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota that it’s difficult to determine the chances of survival, since there are “just so many variables. We’re talking more than 50 things,” including the weather, what the victims were doing during the collapse, and what caused it in the first place.

For Abo, the rescue process is personal: he knows three people who were in the collapse. He continues to hold out hope that they are alive.

Abo has also found personal belongings when sifting through the debris, including toys, wedding photos and stuffed animals.

His team has transported belongings that are safe to move to a nearby shrine set up for the victims.

“As we continue with things, hopefully we get more survivors, but maybe these are things that are going to help bring closure and help us celebrate the lives of people as opposed to mourning the deaths,” Abo said.



Condo owners in Surfside building were facing assessments for $15 million worth of repairs

Condo owners in Champlain Towers South were facing assessments for $15 million worth of repairs – with payments set to begin just days after the building’s deadly collapse.

The building’s condo association approved a $15 million assessment in April to complete repairs required under the county’s 40-year recertification process, according to documents obtained by CNN. The deadline to pay upfront or choose a monthly fee lasting 15 years was July 1, a document sent to the owners of the building’s 136 units said.

Owners would have to pay assessments ranging from $80,190 for one-bedroom units to $336,135 for the owner of the building’s four-bedroom penthouse. 

An itemized list of planned repairs included new pavers, planter landscape and waterproofing – addressing some of the issues noted in a 2018 engineer’s report that warned how leaking water was leading to “major structural damage” to the building’s concrete structural slab. The most costly project listed was “facade, balcony and railing repairs” for $3.4 million.  

The 2018 report, prepared for the condo association, had previously estimated that necessary repairs to the building would cost about $9.1 million.

The big assessment bill came as an unwelcome surprise to some condo owners. 

“We struggled with it and everything,” said Isabel Aguero, who owns an 11th-floor unit in the part of the building that remained standing. She said she thought most of the line items appeared to be more for aesthetic improvements instead of structural fixes to the building – such as $722,000 for “hallway and public area renovations.” 

Aguero and her husband decided to go with the monthly payment, and sent in the paperwork last week Wednesday so the association would start adding $593 to their homeowners fees, they said. Early the next morning, the building collapsed.  

The couple bought the condo two years ago with plans to retire there. But they said they hadn’t spent much time in it, as their renovations and furniture deliveries were delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Their son, Albert, was in the tower vacationing with his wife and two children when it collapsed. They woke up to a horrific noise and shaking, and “when we opened the door, we realized just how much damage had occurred,” he said. “The apartment to the left looked like it had been sheared in half.”

He said that there had been work on the building’s roof since earlier this year “that would wake us up every morning with drilling.” But larger structural construction had not yet begun, according to a statement from the engineering firm that conducted the 2018 report.

Albert said he was distressed reading the warnings in the 2018 report – which he never saw until after the building fell. 

Parents of missing 21-year-old say they hope for a miracle, though the chances are "slim" 

 Ilan Naibryf

The parents of Ilan Naibryf, a 21-year-old college student who is missing in the rubble with his girlfriend Deborah Berezdivin, say they are holding out hope for a miracle while facing the dire reality of the situation on the ground. 

“I believe that the chances are very slim… because of the way that this collapsed… it was like a bomb,” Naibryf’s father, Carlos, told CNN Monday. “I understand that realistically it’s very hard to have a miracle, it may happen.”

“Four days have passed and they haven’t made too much progress, not because they are not doing the right job, but because it’s very hard,” he added.

The missing student’s mother, Ronit Felszer, also said she would not lose hope unless there was physical evidence to the contrary.

Ronit Felszer and Carlos Naibryf

“We want to believe in a miracle because we still don’t have physical presence in part or in whole of our son, so we always have that window,” she said. “Would I call it hope? Would I call it that I’d like a miracle?”

“We are realistic parents, we’re grounded parents,” she added. “We hope that we can have our son return to us and make the decisions accordingly.”

Watch the full interview:


Mexico rescue team joins search efforts following the Surfside building collapse

Mexico’s international rescue team, Topos Azteca, has arrived in Florida to join rescue efforts following the partial collapse of a Surfside residential building, the group confirmed to CNN. 

Héctor Méndez, aka “Topo Mayor,” head of Topos Azteca, told CNN on Monday they have obtained permission from local authorities to join rescue efforts, adding, “we have to wait a couple of hours to get in.”

“I’ve been on this since the earthquake in Mexico, and I’ve been all over the world; when you have already seen death, you have had the opportunity to rescue someone, when something serious like this happens, that instinct inside you awakes for the preservation of the human race,” Méndez said.  

“Then you know that your mission in life is to come to help your brothers who are crying out for help. Life is short, but it has its roles. And as volunteers, that’s the role we play; it’s part of our mission in life,” Méndez added.

According to Méndez, around ten rescuers from Topos Azteca will join rescue efforts. The rescuers are from Mexico, Guatemala, and the US.

Méndez, who also worked as a volunteer in the 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina rescue efforts, added: “I know the US way of work, you have to be patient and respectful, you have to wait for your turn because you’re coming from another country, we got permission, now we’re waiting for our turn.”

Last Thursday, a Go Team comprising of some seven international volunteers from Cadena, a Jewish nonprofit rescue group based in Miami with multiple offices across Latin America, arrived in Florida to join in rescue efforts, according to their website. Israel also deployed a rescue team to assist with rescue and recovery efforts in Florida.

Preliminary federal probe into Surfside collapse could lead to rare formal investigation

A six-person team of federal officials including scientists, structural engineers and a geotechnical engineer arrived in Florida late Sunday night to assess the condo collapse in Surfside, Florida. 

The team, sent from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, is conducting a preliminary investigation of the collapsed building’s materials, history and applicable building codes at the time the condo was built, the ground surrounding the building and numerous other factors, an agency official said.

“I was able to meet with the NIST folks today,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday.

The NIST is a non-regulatory federal agency within the US Department of Commerce, which was founded in 1901, according to their website. NIST works to “promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.” 

Democratic Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said NIST has investigated a “number of structural incidents around the country, and are the best of the best when it comes to making sure that they do a complete and thorough overview.”

DeSantis warned that investigation will take some time. 

“It is something that can be very thorough and it is something that is not going to happen in a day or two, this is going to take a long time, that’s the time horizon they work on,” he said.

The agency will determine whether to open a formal investigation in the next two weeks, the NIST official said. If they do decide to launch an investigation, it will be significant — the agency has only launched four official investigations since it was given this power after Sept. 11, 2001. If a full investigation is conducted, its ultimate goal would be to determine the technical cause of the collapse and, if indicated, to recommend changes to building codes, standards and practices or other appropriate actions to improve the structural safety of buildings.  

Past preliminary investigations were the result of natural disasters such as earthquakes, fire and windstorms, or construction/design failures or terrorist attack. Most recently, NIST has sent preliminary teams to the Gulf area in 2017 for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria; to Paradise, California, after the 2018 Camp Fire, which led to an ongoing study; and now for the Surfside condominium collapse.

Building collapse investigation should focus on potential failures near base of building, experts say

Engineers who have reviewed available information about the Surfside, Florida, condo collapse say investigations into its cause should focus on potential failures near the base of the building. 

The disaster most likely resulted from a combination of foundation and structural problems, according to Mehrdad Sasani, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Northeastern University. He said the collapse likely started at lower floors of the condo and could have been influenced by “40 years of exposure to salt, water and salt air and the indication of some level of damage in the garage at the lower floors of the building.”

Sasani said a range of other factors could have contributed to foundation and structural failures, including vibrations from recent construction work, heavy equipment on its roof and water damage associated with the building’s pool. 

Joel Figueroa-Vallines, president of SEP Engineers, said he thinks it’s too early to reach conclusions, though he said video of the collapse appears to show that once the “pan-caking” of collapse began, columns at the center part of the building seemed to fail and a leaning effect occurred, followed by another part of the building falling. 

He called all of the current analysis speculative but said that speculation “is leaning toward to the fact that this did not topple over. This sort of came straight down,” Figueroa-Vallines said. 

He said he would focus an investigation on the foundation and the “podium level” of the pool deck. He also said he would look at the construction – “typically with pancake construction, there isn’t a lot of redundancy in the floor system.” “Flat slab systems generally have a little less redundancy. Not that that is the cause of the collapse, but once that collapse is initiated, that system will accelerate with gravity,” he said.

But he cautioned: “Typically in these cases there will not be what we call a definitive smoking gun; it’s more of a contributing factor scenario.”

Gregg Schlesinger, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based contractor and attorney who focuses on construction design, said the focus of any investigation should be on the columns, beams and slab at the foundation of the building.

“Did the building fail structurally? Yes. What makes up the structure? Concrete and steel. Did that fail? Yes. Why did it fail? … It was compromised. What portions were compromised? In the pictures [in the 2018 report], we definitely see a column that’s structurally compromised,” Schlesinger said.

Other likely contributing causes: seismic loads from construction next door, which could degrade the structural capacity, as well as roof loading, which may have involved a “point load,” where equipment wasn’t scattered but was a dead load of equipment in one area that adds forces down through a compromised column. Also, the building is settling – the ground is settling and that could add additional forces to a compromised structure.

“Each one of these items is a straw. It’s a piece of evidence. It’s a clue. Can I say, ‘Well it was 23.3% responsible?’ No.”

Mayor of Bal Harbour says all death-related Jewish customs are being practiced at Surfside collapse

The Mayor of Bal Harbour said Monday that all death-related Jewish customs and laws are being practiced at the site of the Champlain Towers South collapse in Surfside, Florida. 

“To clarify, all of the Jewish customs and laws related to passing and the way you handle the deceased are being observed and respected,” Mayor Gabriel Groisman told CNN’s Poppy Harlow Monday. 

Groisman said there is a team of around 20 people on the ground who are ensuring remains and bodies are handled properly. 

“I just walked out of a meeting of about 20 people in charge of making sure that any remains or bodies that are found, from the moment they are pulled out of the site, are not just treated with respect but in accordance to Jewish law and it’s important for families to know that,” Groisman said.

CNN is in Surfside answering your questions about the search and rescue effort underway 

At least 10 people are dead and 151 people are missing after a residential building partially collapsed in Surfside, Florida, Thursday. The cause of the collapse is still unknown, but new details are emerging about the integrity of the structure noted in an engineering report in 2018.

CNN’s Rosa Flores was on the scene with the latest on the search and rescue operation:

Biden supports Surfside collapse investigation, doesn't want to pull local resources for a visit 

President Biden supports an investigation into the building collapse in Surfside, Florida, that left at least 10 dead and dozens more unaccounted for, the White House said on Monday. 

“The goal of course is to get to the bottom of what happened and of course have it be an instructive guide of how to prevent it from happening in the future,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a press briefing. 

She said the administration had sent numerous federal resources, but the President was not planning a trip to the area in the immediate future. 

“We always want to ensure that we’re not pulling from local resources, and we don’t want to draw federal resources that are needed during the ongoing search and rescue efforts,” Psaki said.

Key things to know about the condo collapse investigation so far

A police officer stands guard at the intersection of 88th Street and Harding Avenue near the Champlain Towers South Condo in Surfside, Miami on June 28.

City officials say the cause of the partial building collapse in Surfside, Florida, is still unknown, but engineering reports, researchers and residents have shed light on the integrity of the structure as rescuers continue to race to find survivors.

At least 10 people are dead, 151 are unaccounted for and 135 are accounted for in the collapse of Champlain Towers South as of Monday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said during a news conference earlier today.

Here’s what we know about the investigation so far:

2018 report raises alarm: A 2018 report completed by Morabito Consultants, a structural engineering firm, “detailed significant cracks and breaks in the concrete,” a statement from the firm said Saturday. The group said it provided an estimate to “make the extensive and necessary repairs” to the condo association. The report didn’t indicate whether the structure was at risk of collapse. Morabito was again retained by the condominium association in June 2020 for the building’s 40-year repair and restoration process, according to the statement.

At the time of the collapse, there were roof repairs taking place, but concrete restoration had not started, the firm said, adding that it “exclusively provides” engineering consulting services and does not provide construction-related services.

“We are deeply troubled by this building collapse and are working closely with the investigating authorities to understand why the structure failed. As we do so, we also continue to pray for all those impacted by this tragic event,” the firm said in the statement.

A researcher says condo showed sings of sinking in 1990s: Shimon Wdowinski, a professor with Florida International University’s Institute of Environment, told CNN he determined in a study last year that the Champlain Towers South condo showed signs of sinking in the 1990s. The condo had a subsidence rate of about two millimeters a year from 1993 to 1999, according to his study. While Wdowinski said that this sinking alone would likely not cause the condo’s collapse, he said it could be a contributing factor. “If one part of the building moves with respect to the other, that could cause some tension and cracks,” he explain

Residents raised concerns over tremors during construction of nearby building: Eliana Salzhauer, one of three town commissioners for Surfside, Florida, told CNN Sunday night that survivors of the collapse she encountered have said they felt shaking during construction on a nearby building in recent years. Salzhauer said some of the survivors told her they were bothered by the shaking of their building that occurred while a high-rise was being constructed next door. They told her there was shaking, cracking and water leaking in the garage, she said.

Local leaders are now reviewing building protocols: The deadly collapse prompted nearby cities and towns to review their building recertification protocols. Less than five miles north of Surfside, the city of Sunny Isles Beach will begin sending teams to inspect buildings Monday after announcing Saturday that they would modify the existing process for 40-year recertifications of buildings, Vice Mayor Larisa Svechin told CNN.

On Friday the city of Miami sent a letter urging buildings that are over six stories and more than 40 years old to get an inspection from a qualified structural engineer, Stephanie Severino, Director of Communication for the City of Miami told CNN. They are being asking to respond within 45 days with any potential structural concerns.

Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer told CNN in an email Sunday that his city is creating “more stringent standards for certifications of buildings” following the Surfside collapse.

Read more about the investigation here.

CNN’s Tom Foreman reports the latest details about the condo’s structural integrity before the collapse:


10th Surfside collapse victim was found during de-layering effort, official says

The assistant Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue chief said the 10th Surfside, Florida, collapse victim was found during the de-layering effort.

“That person was processed, removed from the pile, and the operation continued,” Assistant Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Raide Jadallah said Monday during a news conference. 

Jadallah responded to speculation that the search and rescue effort should become search and recovery after a certain amount of time saying that line of reasoning “is far from the truth.” 

“That is far from the truth. In the end there are numerous variables and facts. It’s not based on opinion. It’s not based on time,” Jadallah said, adding that they will make the decision collectively after considering all options and all information. 

The official said first responders are using heavy machinery to remove debris and said the teams will be switching positions later Monday “as a result that most of the individuals have come up upon larger concrete areas and that will require heavy machinery.”

Police: No human remains that have been recovered in Surfside have been identified yet

Only the bodies of the victims that have been recovered from the scene of the Champlain Towers South condo collapse in Surfside have been identified by authorities, Freddy Ramirez, Director of Miami Dade Police Department told CNN.

None of the human remains that have been recovered from the scene have been identified, Ramirez said. Ramirez said he does not know how many human remains have been recovered from the rubble.

Surfside mayor promises 100% transparency about past building inspections

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said the city is working to get all the files about the building posted to the city website, so the public can see it. “We will be 100% transparent,” he said.  

“We directed our staff to go ahead and scan every shred of documentation the town of Surfside has. Which includes going to our archive storage sites. We’ve got boxes and we are sending those boxes to a printing scanning company and those documents will be available for your review,” Burkett said. 

Andrew Hyatt, Surfside Town Manager, told CNN “we are looking internally, going to be making some plans going forward, to not only look at this building, but possibly others.”

Key to investigating Surfside building collapse "lies in the rubble," Miami-based engineer says

Crews work in the rubble at the Champlain Towers South Condo on June 27.

Sinisa Kolar, a Miami-based executive with the engineering firm The Falcon Group, tells CNN that ultimately forensic engineers will need to examine the columns on the ground floor for indications of the cause of the collapse. He said they will need to test samples of concrete to examine its condition and cross-reference that with structural drawings.

“All this data that is being thrown around in the right now is just one piece of the puzzle that the biggest piece of the puzzle, the key element to this investigation, in my opinion, lies in that rubble, in those columns and condition of the structural elements,” Kolar said. “And potentially that’s what I give us some sense of why this has collapsed.”

Kolar has reviewed the 2018 report on the condition of the Champlain Towers South condo building that found “major structural damage” in parts of the tower. While that information is relevant to the investigation, Kolar said he doesn’t believe that the issues flagged in that report would be sufficient to cause a collapse.

“When somebody shows us damages and corrosion and exposed rebar on the underside of the balcony, that’s a horizontal element that basically supports only that floor. So, if there is a collapse of a balcony, that most likely would not cause any additional damage to the rest of the building except for that particular balcony.” 

“Some of these damages as depicted in 2018 report — although problematic and definitely should have been addressed — in my opinion were unlikely to cause the collapse of the entire building … It’s a giant leap from the damage depicted in that report to the collapse of the building and there are a bunch of dots missing to connect the two,” he said.

Kolar noted that the process to address repairs for this type of inspection is time consuming and costly, “Once the engineers present this report to the association, the process begins.”

The condo association would need to secure funds and then an engineering firm would prepare a scope of work, put the project out for competitive bidding among contractors, negotiate the contract and obtain permits.

He said the condo association probably could have started repairs in 2018 and in hindsight they should have done this sooner. “But if tomorrow somebody comes to you and says, ‘Hey listen, you’re going to be responsible for paying $50,000 for repairs,’ you’re going to be like, ‘what is this for and where do I find $50,000 out of the blue?’” 

Kolar said he actually went to the Champlain Towers South condo a few years ago to meet with the management for a special project. He said the meeting was canceled but he did look at the building.

“I noticed some spalling on the balconies and all of that. Some of that was visible from the ground. I wouldn’t say that that’s unusual,” Kolar said.

“Even on a newer building we see some corrosion, but not every single piece of corrosion we see carries the same weight,” he said. Kolar said stucco cracks and peeling paint have “nothing to do with… the stability of the building.” 

Fire chief describes careful rescue efforts: "Every time there's an action, there's a reaction"

Search and rescue efforts are complex and will take time, Raide Jadallah, the assistant fire chief of operations for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, said on Monday, describing the dangerous situation crews are faced with as they look for survivors.

“The situation at hand is we’re not lifting floor by floor. We’re talking about concrete. We’re talking about steel. Every time there’s an action, there’s a reaction,” Jadallah said.

He said on Sunday as crews were looking through the rubble, a rescuer fell 25 feet down the pile of collapsed building.

“That’s a perfect example of the situation we’re dealing with. This was, again, witnessed by the family members themselves at the site,” he said. “It’s not an issue of we can just attach a couple of cords to a concrete Boulder and lift it and call it a day.”

Jadallah described the rubbles of concrete being the size of basketballs and baseballs. He said the rescue efforts are slow-moving because safety for crews and for the victims themselves are at the forefront.

“It’s going to take time. It’s not going to happen overnight. It’s a 12-story building. It’s going to take some time,” he said.

Search and rescue effort at collapse site will grow in size and intensity, mayor says

The mayor of Surfside told reporters Monday the search and rescue effort at the Champlain Towers South collapse will grow in size and intensity in the coming days. 

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said he spoke with the commander of the Israel’s National Rescue Unit. “The Israeli commander told us that the teams that are out there are working fabulously together. There is a joint effort, there is camaraderie, and everyone has the same goal, which is to pull people out of there. He also added that the intensity and the numbers will continue to increase, which I was very interested to hear,” Burkett said during a news conference Monday.

Israel’s National Rescue Unit arrived in Surfside Sunday to assist with the search and rescue efforts. 

Here's how search and rescue crews have been working around the clock

Members of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue team and excavation crews work to remove debris and search the Champlain Towers South collapse site in Surfside on June 26.

Florida State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said search and rescue workers are working in 12-hour shifts, with few breaks. 

Speaking to reporters at a news conference, Patronis said “they’re working around the clock, they’re working 12 hours at a time, midnight to noon, noon to midnight.”

“They come from Tallahassee, they come from Orlando, they come from Tampa, they come from Israel, they come from Mexico, they come from Jacksonville, they come from Fort Myers, they come and they leave their families to come and work around the clock,” he said. “The reward is the life they save.” 

“And they don’t stop. They hardly rest, they come off for about 45 minutes, they check their pulse, they check their O2 levels, and they go back to work because that’s what they do, they work to save lives,” Patronis said. 

Patronis thanked local state and federal assets who have come in to help with the rescue efforts.

“We’ve created a city inside of a city,” Patronis said. 

Surfside mayor says seeing 12-year-old girl sitting alone broke his heart

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer with Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett