The City of Surfside has hired a world-leading engineer to consult the oceanfront town as they examine the cause of a building collapse that’s killed several residents and left hundreds unaccounted for.
The consultant, Allyn Kilsheimer of KCE Structural Engineers, comes aboard as lawmakers and the public seek answers as to why the 12-story-structure partially collapsed early Thursday.
Kilshimer brings with him over 50 years of industry experience.
Among other events, Kilshiemer examined the Pentagon after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the FIU pedestrian bridge collapse, the Miami Dade College garage collapse and a partial collapse at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in France.
“During his decorated career, Kilsheimer has been in direct charge of over $49 billion dollars of construction and has responded to large-scale disasters, both natural and man-made, that require immediate emergency structural shoring, stabilization, selective demolition and reconstruction,” the City of Surfside said in a press release.
Video of the collapse showed the center of the building appearing to crumble early Thursday and then a section nearest to the ocean collapsing seconds later.
While the cause of the collapse remains unknown, a recently surfaced 2018 engineering report detailed “major structural damage” within the oceanfront condominium.
On Saturday, Kilsheimer and city officials toured the collapse site and “saw no visible evidence of any major structural concern,” the City of Surfside said.
“The walk-through included slab-on-grade, columns and the underside of the first-elevated floor in the below-ground garages,” Surfside added, noting the tour was limited to observable and exposed areas.
Speaking Sunday on Meet the Press, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said she was hopeful that the collapse was an “anomaly” rather a failure of building code.
She also defended the state’s building code as “very strong” when asked if older, nearby buildings should be inspected.
Still, she’s ordered a audit of all buildings 40-years- and older in the area.
Meanwhile, the Champlain North tower – the structure which collapsed – plans to hire their own s engineering firm to further investigate.