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MIAMI – A federal team investigating the collapse of a condominium tower in Surfside, Fla., has moved on to the next phase of its work. Ninety-eight people died on June 24, 2021 when a portion of the Champlain Towers South building unexpectedly collapsed.
a team from National Institute of Standards and Technology Its investigation began a few days after the collapse, while search and rescue operations were still underway. Some debris from the site was later removed to a warehouse where scientists and engineers with NIST performed non-destructive testing.
Now, the agency, part of the US Department of Commerce, has moved some 400 pieces of steel-reinforced concrete to a larger location, along with other evidence. There, teams using heavy equipment can begin extracting and testing concrete core and rebar samples.
The NIST team is trying to understand why a portion of the 12-storey building suddenly collapsed and is trying to recommend changes in regulations and building codes to avoid similar disasters. Reporting by the Miami Herald and other news organizations has focused on possible construction defects that may have contributed to corroding of the building’s concrete and its reinforcing steel.
NIST states that the investigation into the Champlain Tower South collapse is “one of the most complex and challenging investigations of its type ever conducted, with no clear onset for the collapse.” The agency says its investigation will not be complete until the spring of 2024. A report with recommendations is expected after a year.