Grand jury plans to probe deadly collapse of Florida high-rise condo
- Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle says she plans to request a grand jury to probe condo collapse.
- "Few words can describe the shock and horror that the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium building has evoked in all of us," she said.
- The Champlain Towers South building partially collapsed in the early morning of Thursday, June 24.
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Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle announced she plans to request a grand jury to probe the partial collapse of the Florida high-rise condo building that left at least 11 confirmed dead and dozens unaccounted for.
"Few words can describe the shock and horror that the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium building has evoked in all of us," she said.
The grand jury will examine last Thursday's sudden collapse of a massive wing of the 12-story oceanfront Champlain Towers South in Surfside and safety issues raised by the horrific disaster, Fernandez Rundle previously told the Miami Herald.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told reporters during a briefing on the collapse earlier on Tuesday that she is "very supportive" of a grand jury investigation and has been in "close touch" with Fernandez-Rundle on the matter.
"I have pledged my full cooperation as she moves forward," Cava said, adding, "I will do, and my team will do, everything possible to aid them in their efforts to continue that investigation."
When asked what the grand jury will seek, Cava said, "like all of us, answers."
Nearly half of the units at the 40-year-old condo building on Collins Avenue crumbled to the ground around 1:30 am last Thursday.
Rescue crews have since been working around the clock searching for possible survivors amid dangerous conditions on the massive pile of rubble and debris at the disaster site.
As of Tuesday, there were still 11 confirmed deaths in the collapse with more than 150 people unaccounted for.
Since the tragedy, numerous warning signs preceding the collapse have been revealed.
In 2015, a resident of the condo filed a lawsuit alleging that one of the building's outer walls had not been maintained properly.
Three years later, an engineering consultant found signs of "major structural damage" and evidence of "abundant" cracking and fragmentation of the columns, beams, and walls in the garage under the condo complex, according to a 2018 inspection report.
And two months before the collapse, the president of the condo association raised the alarm that conditions in the building's basement garage were worsening.
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