MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – A huge pile of debris remains seemingly untouched on 57th Street and Collins Avenue on Miami Beach one week after a building collapse.
What was supposed to be a demolition of the 1960-era Marlborough House Condominium instead became an unexpected implosion that critically injured one man.
“I don’t think that the people that were there filming on their cell phones realized the danger that they were in,” said City of Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Góngora.
Commisioner Góngora, who lives near the scene, is working to see what the city can do to prevent something like this from happening in the future. He sponsored a discussion item which will be taken up again in September.
“The building applied originally for an implosion permit, which we do not grant in Miami Beach. They then applied for a demolition permit but that demolition permit really doesn’t give the city specifics really about how the building’s going to come down,” said Commissioner Góngora.
A worker said an attempt was made to pull down a portion of the building.
“Part of it fell. Part of it did fall. It was planned for half of it to fall exactly in the spot where it landed,” said the worker, who did not want to be identified. “The whole thing did not come down until til was on the roll. Then unfortunately, it pulled the rest of the building down.”
Commissioner Góngora says the city has not seen a lot of demolitions in the past few years but it will in the near future because of possible zoning changes so this is something the city needs to address.
“Let’s make sure we have more notice to what’s going on. Let’s make sure we notify the neighboring buildings better what’s going on. Let’s make sure we create a bigger safety net so that people aren’t so close to where buildings like this are coming down,” said Commissioner Góngora.
The demolition job was being carried out by Winmar Construction through a subcontractor — Allied Bean Demolition.
Winmar issued a statement that read in part, “….we are working closely with city officials and industry agencies to understand what happened during Allied’s demolition of the structure.”
The City of Miami Beach is conducting a criminal investigation into the incident, in part, because someone got hurt.
OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is also investigating.