On Friday, June 25 2021, a 12 story building near Miami, Florida suddenly collapsed where over 159 people could be missing within the debris. Currently, CNN has an article that is updating live since there are many unanswered questions since yesterday.
At around 1:30AM, 55 condominiums fell to the ground. The reason why it is so hard to determine how many people are missing/dead is because most people were either asleep or away. The type of collapse is called a “pancake collapse”. Pancake collapses are when multiple floors stack while falling which lead to the weight of each floor building up on each other. A “progressive failure” is a pancake collapse that usually starts at the bottom: Damage to a load-bearing part, generally in the lower floors or foundation of a structure, causes the upper levels to collapse vertically onto the floors below. Because there are frequently few gaps, or pockets of space and air, in the rubble, a pancake collapse is more hazardous than other collapses.
“The sheer tonnage of materials … makes it very difficult for void spaces to exist,” Favre said.From the CNN article, “At least 159 missing after partial building collapse near Miami”
Search-and-rescue efforts are especially complicated by pancake collapses because the structures that remain around the collapse site are unstable and might topple as rescuers navigate through the wreckage.
Cause Remains Unknown
The cause for this sudden collapse remains unknown and can take up to months to figure out. While there are hypotheses about the weak infrastructure due to the old build date, there is not enough evidence that could answer the reason why a severe amount of the building suddenly fell.
Morabito Consultants, a structural engineering firm, said in a statement issued Saturday afternoon it completed a report in 2018 that “detailed significant cracks and breaks in the concrete” at Champlain Towers South and provided an estimate of costs to “make the extensive and necessary repairs.”From the CNN article, “At least 159 missing after partial building collapse near Miami”
While they are still looking into what could have caused this, updates report that 5 people have been confirmed to be dead while 156 are still missing. Prayers go out to all the families that have to experience this dreadful time.