Florida high-rise evacuated over structural concerns following Surfside condo collapse

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City officials in North Miami Beach have ordered the shutdown and evacuation of a high-rise condo complex there, roughly a week after a deadly collapse left dozens of people missing in a neighboring community.

North Miami Beach Building Department officials ordered the evacuation of Crestview Towers Friday evening, according to a city spokesperson. Officials are working with the American Red Cross to find temporary shelter for the building’s residents.

“There has been no collapse and no one has been injured – this is a precautionary measure based on their inspection report,” the spokesperson said.

The move came after the condo board turned in a building inspection report that found structural deficiencies.

“Following the tragic collapse of Champlain Towers South on June 24, North Miami Beach immediately launched a thorough review of all condo high rise buildings above five stories to determine if they are in compliance with the county and city 40 Year Recertification process and certified as safe for occupancy,” the statement continued. “Today, Crestview Towers submitted a recertification report, dated Jan. 11, 2021, in which an engineer retained by the condo association board concluded that the 156-unit building was structurally and electrically unsafe.”

The building was built in 1972, officials said, nine years before Champlain Towers South.

Furniture sits perched in the remains of apartments sheared in half, in the still standing portion of the Champlain Towers South condo building, more than a week after it partially collapsed, Friday, July 2, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

“In an abundance of caution, the city ordered the building closed immediately and the residents evacuated for their protection, while a full structural assessment is conducted,” North Miami Beach City Manager Arthur Sorey III said in a statement. “Nothing is more important than the safety and lives of our residents, and we will not rest until we ensure this building is 100% safe.”

LIVE UPDATES: MIAMI CONDO COLLAPSE DEATH TOLL RISES TO 22

The 10-story high-rise apartment building has about 160 units and is about 25 miles northwest of the Champlain Towers South collapse site in Surfside, Fla., property records show.

The collapse in Surfside last Thursday left at least 22 people dead and 126 unaccounted for as search and rescue efforts continued more than a week later.

Officials said they expected to continually revise those totals and crews dig into the rubble. No new survivors have been found since the hours immediately following the unexpected collapse.

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Further hampering rescue efforts are structural concerns about portions of the building that remain standing and the approaching Hurricane Elsa, which could reach southern Florida overnight Sunday or early Monday morning.

Officials said they want to take down the remaining Champlain Towers South sections, which Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava called a threat to public safety, but cannot do so until after the storm passes.


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