SURFSIDE, FLA. (WSVN) - Federal investigators looking into the partial condominium collapse in Surfside said it could take years to determine what caused part of the structure to crumble to the ground.
It’s been more than two months since the Jan. 24 collapse of Champlain Towers’ South building, which killed 98 people. On Thursday, the National Institute of Standards and Technologies, the agency behind the probe, released new video of their ongoing efforts.
“We have collected lots of evidence from the site, and we have not yet identified a reason,” said NIST investigator Judith Mitrani-Reiser.
Investigators are removing debris from the site piece by piece. They hope to rebuild as much of the building as they can to learn what happened.
Mitrani-Reiser said every little piece is a clue.
“They all tell a story. It might all tell a really tiny story, but they all tell an important story, and we needed to really be the stewards of protecting all of those stories,” she said.
One shot in the video NIST released shows what appears to be a significant amount of corrosion at the bottom of a column, but engineers said it’s too early to tell what role it played in the collapse.
“I’ve looked at hundreds and hundreds of buildings, and I’ve seen a lot of corrosion, but I wouldn’t call it astronomical,” said engineer Dan Lavrich.
Lavrich said it’s likely a number of things went wrong.
“Usually, when something happens of this nature, several things that, if they happen individually would not have brought the building down. When they all happen together, it causes this type of tragic event,” he said.
NIST’s shortest investigation to date took two and a half years. The longest took six years.
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