SUNNY ISLES (CBSMiami) – The damage to the top floor of a high-rise condominium in Sunny Isles Beach may take longer to fix than expected.READ MORE: South Florida Caravan Heads To DC To Ask US Government To End Cuba’s Communist Regime
The boiler room on the 34th floor of the “Chateau Beach Residences” at 17475 Collins Avenue exploded Friday morning, injuring six people and blowing up the top floor.
The chaos at the chateau condominium has settled down by Saturday afternoon.
But, a day after the top floor exploded, people still curiously walked by taking pictures and gawking at the gaping holes on the 34th floor.
Miami-Dade Fire investigators said a gas leak caused the boiler room to explode Friday. It sent chunks of concrete flying, blew out the walls, a huge slab dangling high above.
“The contractor brought in a demolition crew to secure the hanging slab that’s hanging on the side of the building,” said Sunny Isles Beach Mayor George “Bud” Scholl. “Because, we were concerned that that slab could potentially break loose.”
But, removing the slab safely and repairing all the damage will take time, partly because the developer must look outside Florida for a huge crane that can handle the load and height. And, that means traffic jams in and around the area of the chateau.READ MORE: Historic Little Havana House Goes Up In Flames
“Traffic will be impacted for the foreseeable future because we’re not sure when we’re gonna be able to open that right lane of Collins,” said Mayor Scholl.
It also means the one story hotel next door to the chateau must stay closed until that slab comes down. Guests of the Monaco were evacuated after the explosion and eventually relocated to the Thunderbird Hotel at 184th and Collins.
But some guests tell CBS4’s Donna Rapado the transition was not a smooth one.
One man visiting from Argentina was upset no one would let him get his belongings in his room, including his money, heart medication and passport on Friday.
He said he was forced to pay for another hotel out of his own pocket.
And yet another man just arriving to the Monaco from Brazil to find it dark and empty said no one let him know his stay was changing.
CBS4 asked to speak to a manager at the Thunderbird, or someone from Dezer Development which owns both hotels, but the clerk said no one was available.MORE NEWS: Miami PD Finds Burnt Body After Responding To Fire On Railroad Tracks
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the chateau told us their top priority now is removing the dangling slab safely and finding out how and why the boiler room exploded. They will also inspect the floors below for possible damage, making all the necessary repairs.