On Monday morning, a 13 story building in Miami Beach that was being prepped for demolition suddenly collapsed, injuring one Project Manager that was struck by debris.
After watching the video and reading several news stories, it seems as though the aftermath of the collapse has raised more questions than answers. The Miami Herald has even reported that the Miami Beach Police Department is conducting a criminal investigation. OSHA will also be investigating the incident.
Although the building fell suddenly, city officials have made it clear that the demolition contractor was denied a demolition by implosion permit, but was granted a standard demolition permit. Typically, in a demolition involving this tall of a building that is not able to be imploded, the structure is gutted on the interior side and then dismantled floor by floor.
After the collapse, search and rescue dogs were deployed to make sure that were not any other victims covered by the debris. No other victims were discovered.
Local building inspectors visited the building’s neighbors and determined that they were not impacted, according to the Herald. All asbestos risks were also properly handled prior to the demolition.
--The following is opinion and should not be taken as fact--
The most baffling part is that it seems as though many people knew the building was going to come down when it did. First, there was video taken of the collapse by two different people nearby. Second, it also appears the road was shut down in either direction before the building fell. You can see work trucks in one lane and a flagger with a stop sign on the other side of the road. In the second video below from CBS Miami, it appears that water was being sprayed on the building, a sign that crews knew that dust is about to be created. An ambulance pulls up immediately after the collapse as well, as if they were notified.
So, if they knew the building was going to fall, why would so many people (workers and pedestrians) and construction equipment be so close to the job site? Not only is falling debris a problem, but the amount of smoke that’s created is a major hazard.
We will hopefully have more information on the incident after investigations take place. We also hope for a full and quick recovery of the injured project manager.
warning: in the video below, you can see the project manager being struck by the falling debris.
Full story: One person critically injured during demolition of Miami Beach condo building | Miami Herald