Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Biden to visit scene of Miami building collapse


US President Joe Biden will visit the site of the apartment building collapse in southern Florida later this week, the White House announced on Tuesday, according to AFP.

"On Thursday, July 1, the president and the first lady will travel to Surfside, Florida," the Biden administration said in a statement, adding that details for the trip would be provided later.

The 12-story oceanfront condominium in Surfside, a neighborhood near Miami, collapsed in the early hours of Thursday last week, with the official death toll of 11 expected to rise as hope dwindles for 150 people still unaccounted for.

An engineer who three years ago examined the residential building that collapsed found that the complex was suffering from "major structural damage."

The report noted damage to the concrete slabs under the pool and cracks and significant disintegration of the columns, beams and walls of the underground parking garage in the 13-story building.

The damage to the building, which was erected 40 years ago and went through a re-approval process, was apparently caused by prolonged exposure to the salty air of Florida's south coast.

On Friday, reports emerged that a researcher's 2020 paper detailed evidence that the building had shown signs that it had been sinking since the 1990s.

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