DORAL (CBSMiami) — Eight days after the horrific collapse of a parking garage on the west campus of Miami-DadeCollege, the body of the fourth man who lost his life has been taken from the site.
It ended eight days of anguish for the loved ones of 53-year-old Robert Budhoo, an electrician from Tamarac who is believed to be the fourth person killed when the garage that was under construction suddenly collapsed last Wednesday.
Shortly after 4 p.m., a van from the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office took the body from the site at 3800 N.W. 115th Ave.
Alan Goldfarb, an attorney for the Budhoo family, told reporters that family members believe that Budhoo’s body has been recovered and they asked for privacy after more than a week of speaking with the media.
“They want to thank the fire rescue people and firefighters and police who put forth a tremendous effort. They actually gave a big prayer for them and they are thankful that no one else was injured,” said Goldfarb.
He told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “This is something that should never have happened. This was a tragedy for the family and for Miami-DadeCounty. This should never, ever have occurred.”
On Thursday morning, D’Oench reported that dozens of Miami-Dade firefighters gathered at the site of the collapse, preparing for the final day of their search for the fourth person killed at the site.
D’Oench reported at noon that sources said crews hoped to remove the body by the end of the day. As that happened, Budhoo’s wife, a daughter, cousins and all five of his grandchildren came to the site along with Goldfarb, who may take legal action on behalf of the family.
Family members had wondered why it took so long to remove the body and felt they were not getting enough answers from authorities.
“It’s not fair,” said Tasha Bagwandeen. “My dad is lying there. And it’s taking too much time.”
On Thursday afternoon, before the body was removed, Chopper 4 captured pictures of a crane chipping away at concrete chunks and digging around a vehicle that was buried at the site. Goldfarb said he was not sure if that work was connected to the discovery of the body.
Miami-Dade Police said crews had to move slowly and carefully because of how dangerous the conditions were at the site and because of how easily concrete can shift.
The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office will now confirm the identity of the body found at the site.
Seven workers were injured in the collapse of the garage that was two months away from being completed. Since the incident, all classes have been cancelled and students are now taking classes at the north campus of Miami-DadeCollege.
It’s not known what caused the garage to collapse but the contractor for the project—the Ajax Building Corporation—admitted last week that just a few days before the accident, a crane had struck a column.
But that crane was re-inspected and recertified and deemed to be safe along with the structure itself.
Goldfarb said the Budhoo family is struggling with expenses and said a trust fund had been set up for the family for those who would like to help family members.
It is the Robert Budhoo Trust Fund, City National Bank, 25 West Flagler, Miami, Fl. 33130. Tel. (305) 577-7306.