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What The Collapse Of The Surfside Condo Tells Us About Structural Safety

Search and Rescue personnel work after the partial collapse of the 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building on in Surfside, Florida.
Search and Rescue personnel work after the partial collapse of the 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building on in Surfside, Florida.

At least 11 people are dead and 150 people are unaccounted for after the partial collapse of a condo in Surfside, Florida, last week.

We’re learning more each day about what structural failures may have led to the collapse — and what role inspections play in identifying potential hazards.

CNN reports:

At least 11 people have died after the building crumbled on Thursday, and rescue crews are racing to find the 150 still missing. The condo’s collapse has also raised questions about whether older buildings have undergone the repairs they need — and, if not, who will pay for them. Those questions apply outside South Florida, too. Environmental threats have led to building code changes across the United States in recent decades. California overhauled its requirements in hopes of protecting residents from earthquakes, and the federal government began playing an active role in building codes following the San Fernando Valley earthquake of 1971 that leveled several buildings at a Veterans Administration hospital. Louisiana implemented building codes in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Elsewhere, tornadoes, rising sea levels, overflowing rivers and other environmental threats have forced changes to building codes.

We talk with experts about what may have gone wrong in Surfside — and how to prevent it from happening elsewhere.

 

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