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Investigations Deepen in FL Building Collapse

Friday, July 27, 2018

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Days after a condominium came crashing down unexpectedly during a planned demolition, a criminal investigation has been opened and the one person injured in the incident has been identified.

What Happened

On Monday, the former Marlborough House in Miami Beach was slated for demolition, but the 13-story building soon collapsed, sending massive clouds of smoke and debris into the streets.

The property was recently bought by developer Jose Isaac Peres (founder of Multiplan Real Estate Asset Management), who is planning a new 19-story tower for the lot. Reports indicate that Peres filed for an implosion permit in August 2017 and was denied. Peres filed a regular demolition permit days later, which was granted in April.

Multiplan confirmed after the incident that the building was in the process of being demolished by the general contractor Winmar Construction Inc., and referred any questions to that company. Winmar Construction president Luis Leon released a statement late Monday afternoon, which read in part that they were working closely with officials and then directed further questions to subcontractor AlliedBean Demolition, which was responsible for the demolition work. (That company has still not commented on the incident.)

On Monday, it was reported that one person was injured and taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital. It was later confirmed that AlliedBean project manager Samuel Landis, 46, lost his leg after getting his with debris, knocking him unconscious at the scene.

The incident report released by police described the scene saying that, “The building collapsed in an unsafe manner, causing debris and thick smoke to cover Collins Avenue. (He and another officer) quickly entered our patrol vehicle to escape the thick smoke.”

Upon exiting the patrol car, the officer wrote, “Immediately, we observed a victim on the ground, unresponsive with a severed leg.”

Officers performed chest compressions on Landis until rescue workers arrived at the scene and transported him to the hospital. Those officers were also admitted into a hospital for smoke inhalation.

In addition to releasing the incident report, the Miami Beach police confirmed that they are investigating the collapse from the criminal angle. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is also investigating.

“We’re going to be investigating it, along with our colleagues and folks from other departments, to find out exactly what happened,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Condominiums/High-Rise Residential; Demolition; Health and safety; OSHA; Safety

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