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Engineers Found Florida Condo Had ‘Significant Structural Damage’ Before It Collapsed

In this photo provided by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, search and rescue personnel search for survivors through the rubble at the Champlain Towers South Condo in Surfside, Fla., on Friday.

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Engineers Found Florida Condo Had 'Significant Structural Damage' Before It Collapsed

In this photo provided by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, search and rescue personnel search for survivors through the rubble at the Champlain Towers South Condo in Surfside, Fla., on Friday.

AP

A structural engineering report provided to the Champlain Towers condominium association in 2018 found widespread issues that required extensive repairs “in the near future.”

Parts of the 12-story condominium in Surfside, Fla. collapsed early Thursday morning. Four people are confirmed dead and 159 others are missing. Rescue crews continue to comb through the rubble looking for survivors.

The report, dated Oct. 8, 2018, includes pictures showing cracks in concrete columns. It found “significant structural damage” to the concrete structural slab below the pool deck. It warned that “failure to replace the waterproofing in the near future will cause the extent of the concrete deterioration to expand exponentially.”

The nine-page report, authored by Morabito Consultants, listed several areas of concern with the now 40-year-old building including problems with waterproofing on flat surfaces and a “major error” that doesn’t allow water runoff and instead relies on evaporation affecting the structural integrity of the concrete at ground level.

Gregg Schlesinger, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., contractor and attorney who handles structural failure cases, told NPR the report doesn’t show why the building collapsed but it offered warnings of serious danger.

“They gave warnings. You’ve got a problem. What exactly is the problem? How bad is it? Why didn’t you find out more?” Schlesinger said.

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