Miami building collapse: 9/11 investigators drafted in to probe cause of disaster as death toll rises to 11

THE top experts who probed the fall of the Twin Towers after the 9/11 terror attack have been drafted in to investigate the Miami apartment block collapse.

US Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz revealed specialists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are now at the disaster scene gathering key evidence.


She told reporters: "They are the best of the best when it comes to making sure that they do a complete and thorough overview."

However, Florida governor Ron DeSantis made it clear that the team's in-depth studyinto what actually caused the tragedy will be a long-term project.

"It is something that is going to be very thorough and is something that is not going to happen in a day or two. This is going to take a long time," he warned.

He added the search for survivors had been hampered by "hazardous" conditions and the outbreak of fires, as it was revealed the death toll has risen to 11.

"[Rescuers] have been going at it for over 100 hours straight – when there's danger, they run towards it," he said.

"They obviously shepherded a lot of people to safety initially. And they have been every minute of every day since the building collapsed, trying to identify survivors."



"They're putting themselves at risk in order to do that, not only because you could have additional collapse.

"You've had deep seated fires that they had to fight. It's been an incredibly hazardous environment and they've been on the scene non-stop from the very beginning."

The latest news comes as shocking photos show cracks in the foundation of its sister building.

A resident of sister tower, Champlain Towers East, shared photos of a massive crack that appeared after the South towers fell on Thursday morning.

Residents of Champlain Towers South's sister buildings, East and North, have been given the option to be put up in hotels while the buildings are further inspected.



Robert Lisman, who took photos of cracks that appeared in Champlain Towers East's garage after the collapse, said that he's afraid the tragedy will leave lingering affects on nearby buildings.

"I am afraid that there could be some issue in our building that will result in what we saw in Champlain Towers South," Lisman told Local 10.

However, an expert hired by the town of Surfside to look at the East and North towers found "no visible evidence of any major structural concern."

A more detailed inspection is forthcoming, according to WTVJ.

Residents of Champlain Towers South were reportedly informed of major structural issues that were getting worse, and how expensive they would be to repair, in an April letter from the condo association.

The letter came just 75 days before the building went down.



Meanwhile, the death toll from the collapse rose to 11 on Monday night, as crews continue to search through rubble as 150 people are still unaccounted for.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava spoke about the ongoing search efforts for the missing people at a press conference.

"We have people waiting, waiting, and waiting for news — that is excruciating," she said.

"We have them coping with news that they might not have their loved ones come out alive and still hoping against hope that they will.

"They're learning that some of their loved ones will only come out as body parts."

The search efforts entered a fifth day on Monday, as hope waned that any more survivors would be found amid the massive piles of rubble.


Miami-Dade has created a larger family assistance center for people whose loved ones have been missing since the condo collapsed in the early hours of Thursday morning.

The cause of the collapse is currently unknown, though residents of the building were reportedly told it was in "very good shape" after structural issues were flagged in 2018.

An engineering report revealed at the time that the building's “failed waterproofing" was causing "major structural damage to the concrete structural slab below these areas."

However, minutes from a board meeting held in November 2018 appear to show that Surfside building official Ross Prieto told residents that the structure was in "very good shape" – after reportedly receiving the report, according to the Miami Herald.

Prieto reportedly wrote in the email: "The response was very positive from everyone in the room. All main concerns over their forty-year recertification process were addressed.

"This particular building is not due to begin their forty-year until 2021 but they have decided to start the process early which I wholeheartedly endorse and wish that this trend would catch on with other properties."

When approached, Prieto declined to comment – citing the advice of an attorney.

He claims he "didn't recall" the email which revealed the cost estimates for the repair works.

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