Champlain Towers Collapse

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KR29pLccutY


Article:
Security camera footage of the collapse looked eerily similar to a controlled demolition, minus the flash of explosives. The center of the tower gave way first, with the rest of the structure collapsing into a pile of rubble. The cause of the collapse is unknown, though one building expert deemed it “an oddity of biblical proportions” for the 40-year-old structure to fall unexpectedly.

In a scene reminiscent of 9/11, evacuees and family and friends of residents gathered at the nearby Surfside Community Center, some carrying photos of their missing loved ones, and anxiously waited for news. More than 700 missing-person reports came in to a Miami-Dade hot line and web page set up to track victims of the collapse, according to the county’s Emergency Operations Center.

Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez said at 2:30 p.m. that 53 residents of Champlain Towers had been accounted for but that 99 remained missing. Ramirez’s top aide, Lt. Carlos Rosario, cautioned that the count may not be accurate and that the numbers are just “the best we have right now.”


The similarity of this tragic collapse to a controlled demolition is likely going to lead to both people claiming it was a controlled demolition, and to distancing from 9/11 Truth types, who have long contended that if something looks like controlled demolition, then that's what it must be. With another counterexample, that argument is looking less and less tenable.

When the Plasco building collapsed in Iran, AE911 were faced with the prospect of admitting that large chunks of their "evidence" had been falsified, or claiming that Plaso was controlled demolition with nanothermite. They chose the latter. This will be more problematic.
 

Fallingdown

Member
I posted this by accident on your previous thread about a building collapse Miami 2018. Which is now deleted.

I usually read because although I’m a know it all I’ve realized you guys know more.

But I noticed something I’d like to table.

i’m familiar with high-rise construction and I noticed something out of the ordinary it caught my eye.

The area I circled in red seems to have sheared off the building instead of collapse . When I first saw it I thought the weight of the collapse could have pulled it off.

02A835CE-7F56-47B6-AA80-33D6B142B7E4.jpeg

then I found this video of the collapse and it seems to start on that side of the building. that area also seems to be on a stairwell and at a 90° corner which could be a point for cross loadbearing.

I in no way think I figured it out but this looks peculiar to me. I wanted to post it to hear some engineers opinions.

Source: https://youtu.be/1M5B7bODkvk

here’s another point. I don’t have a picture with enough resolution to be able to tell whether that’s a shadow, vapor barrier or a section of the floor pulled out.

E970D996-1B15-4102-8EF6-8679F02999E4.jpeg

i’m going to add some screenshots from Google earth for orientation and probably save everybody else some time.

EFBB257A-F330-4605-A394-4CB182F96F1B.pngABB06294-0653-4F64-A69B-E62448965B8D.pngB7CB39EC-7CEC-4986-9967-C489CBD4FAB8.jpeg

^^^^ the line between the standing and failed parts of the building.



* note I might have use the term shear incorrectly. I probably should’ve said pulled apart or snapped when shear wall construction fails.
 

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jackfrostvc

Active Member
That happens due from a process called soil consolidation.

I live near to water myself, and once you get down 2 feet into the soil, it's basically beach sand.
As such there is a big problem with house foundations sinking.
A function of sand being more prone to consolidation maybe?
 

Fallingdown

Member
I live near to water myself, and once you get down 2 feet into the soil, it's basically beach sand.
As such there is a big problem with house foundations sinking.
A function of sand being more prone to consolidation maybe?
I guess I should’ve been a little clearer with that statement. Soil consolidation happens when the weight of the building presses water out of the soil and it compacts.

One thing I’d like to point out is that foundations aren’t always built the same along the beach is they are in other areas. There’s different processes but I won’t venture a guess what they did for this one .

Here’s one example it has peers but a lot of the pad is what I believe it is called a floating pad.

Source: https://youtu.be/TG8EYhMI7GI
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
John D. MacDonald published a novel in 1977 called Condominium. This novel is set in a coastal Florida community in which there is a condo building boom. A central plot point is criminally poor construction, corrupt government inspectors and shoddy management. Rumor has it that one particularly bad condo building is just sitting on the sand with no foundation like a wooden block.

A hurricane comes along and shoddy condo buildings fall into ruin.

Not many people read John D. MacDonald these days; especially his non-Travis McGee novels. MacDonald, was noted for being educated and intelligent, doing a lot of research, and being relentlessly critical and cynical. He was a long time Florida resident who often lamented the population boom.

This particular building was built in 1981.

This isn't proof of anything, but this building that has been described as sinking since the day it was built, and passed inspection just before it collapsed sure would fit into this novel.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
There might actually be a small-scale conspiracy at work here:
Article:
NPR has obtained minutes of a Nov. 2018 meeting that shows a Surfside town inspector met with residents of the building, and assured them the building was "in very good shape." NPR learned of the meeting from a resident who was in attendance and who in an interview with Weekend Edition recalled being told that the building was not in danger.

The inspector's comments directly conflicted with an engineering report from five weeks earlier, which warned that failed waterproofing in a concrete structural slab needed to be replaced "in the near future."

No "controlled demolition", though.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/miami-beach/article252421658.html2021-06-29_06-37-43.jpg

Article:
In the pool equipment room, located on the south side of the underground garage, the contractor saw another problem — exposed and corroding rebar in the concrete slab overhead. He snapped some pictures and sent them to his supervisor along with a note expressing concern that the job might be a bit more complicated than expected. He worried they would have to remove pool pipes to allow concrete restoration experts access to repair the slabs.

The building caved in two days later, before they had time to complete their bid.
 
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Fallingdown

Member
This is from engineer news record. It tells us what we already knew. Nobody knows for sure but that won’t stop the speculating.

There are at least three theories about the trigger of the progressive collapse, beyond the pool deck slab: column failure, slab failure due to punching shear or failure of the pile foundation system, perhaps under the pool deck. Kilsheimer, Bell and others speculate there may have been more than one contributing factor, as in a perfect storm.

Progressive failure is caused either by columns that fail axially due to axial over-stress or shear damage that progresses to axial failure or punching shear failure, says Moehle.

In punching shear, one or more of the building’s flat slabs develops a shear failure around the column and drops relative to the column.

Be carful this site is paywall blocked after two visits.

https://www.enr.com/articles/52001-...r-champlain-towers-probable-collapse-sequence (https://archive.is/j0Bcj)

I have a couple more pictures from Google earth that has me scratching my head. Is that deteriorated concrete or a camera artifact?

because it definitely in the area where the shear wall load failed. Either before or during the collapse.
 

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Hevach

Senior Member.
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/miami-beach/article252421658.html

Article:
In the pool equipment room, located on the south side of the underground garage, the contractor saw another problem — exposed and corroding rebar in the concrete slab overhead. He snapped some pictures and sent them to his supervisor along with a note expressing concern that the job might be a bit more complicated than expected. He worried they would have to remove pool pipes to allow concrete restoration experts access to repair the slabs.

The building caved in two days later, before they had time to complete their bid.
That spalling damage is scary. If that were the basement under a one floor house I'd walk away no matter how much my wife loved the breakfast nook. Another important quote from that article:

CBS4’s Jim DeFede interviewed William Espinosa, a Champlain maintenance manager from the late 1990s, who said ocean saltwater would make its way into the underground garage — so much that “pumps never could keep up with it.”

Seawater hates all things wrought by human hands, and if there's routinely water (salt or otherwise, though salt is worse) in a reinforced concrete structure like that, it can cause spalling. The rebar inside the concrete rusts, causing it to become less bound to the concrete and weakening both. There's places all over those pictures where the concrete is flaking off, exposing rusty rebar to wet air and salt.

The article Fallingdown links has a lot of mechanisms, but they're all variations on the same theme - failure of load bearing reinforced concrete.

So, from Espinosa's quote, seawater in the basement has been a problem since the late 90's. From the pool guy's quote, the areas he inspected were full of standing water and spalling damage, and he worried his company's limited part in the overhaul of the building was going to be bigger than anticipated as a result.
 

Rocky

Member
I read 2 interesting articles on this incident. This happened close to where I live. The first article was about a woman in the building looking over her balcony and telling her husband on the phone that she just saw the pool deck collapse like a sink hole. Seconds later the line was cut. She was one of the victims. so maybe that's where the collapse started.
https://nypost.com/2021/06/28/woman-missing-in-fl-condo-told-husband-on-phone-she-saw-pool-cave-in/
The 2nd article was about the grandson of 2 of the victims. The tenants had a landline phone by the bed. And ever since the building collapsed he said he has gotten over 16 calls from that number but every time he answers there is nothing but static on the other end. What do you think would cause such an eerie anomaly?
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/06/29/florida-condo-collapse-phone-calls/
 
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Fallingdown

Member
Here’s a couple pictures of the pool area. One is a wide shot the other is more of a close-up. By my eyeball it’s appears to have dropped about 4 to 6 feet.
 

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Hevach

Senior Member.
I read 2 interesting articles on this incident. This happened close to where I live. The first article was about a woman in the building looking over her balcony and telling her husband on the phone that she just saw the pool deck collapse like a sink hole. Seconds later the line was cut. She was one of the victims. so maybe that's where the collapse started.
https://nypost.com/2021/06/28/woman-missing-in-fl-condo-told-husband-on-phone-she-saw-pool-cave-in/
The 2nd article was about the grandson of 2 of the victims. The tenants had a landline phone by the bed. And ever since the building collapsed he said he has gotten over 16 calls from that number but every time he answers there is nothing but static on the other end. What do you think would cause such an eerie anomaly?
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/06/29/florida-condo-collapse-phone-calls/
On the second: landline phones in the US are a chaotic mess comprising several generations of analog, digital, and TCP/IP based networks.

Last year, in Michigan, the Wixom and Sanford dams broke and flooded a lot of area. My father-in-law lived in a building in the flood zone built in the 1970's. It has a copper wire analog phone system interfaced with an analog fiber network along the road built in the 90's, connected to AT&T's wider digital fiber network, much of which is routed through the internet as VOIP at some level.

While the connection box was underwater, apartments with landlines would randomly connect, and at some junction between systems this got interpreted as redialing the last number they called.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
at some junction between systems this got interpreted as redialing the last number they called.
that's the key information

I had surmised that salt water could randomly make telephone wires short out or not, and of course the static is easily explained once a connection was made, but I wasn't sure how random shorts could dial a number reliably.

[Btw, an easy way to quote just part of a post is to mark the part you want to quote with the mouse, and then click on the "reply" that pops up.]
 

Rocky

Member
The sea level has risen ~10cm (4 inches) since the early 1980s; this may have contributed to the salt water ingress.
Article:
12_12_sl-chart-11-2020.jpg
Possibly. But living in this area flooding happens frequently. Especially during King Tides. They have been happening for decades. Housing lots are built up from the surrounding area and they use the holes dug as a pond for the fire department. Florida is basically sea level with the water table at about 6 ft down. Not a very good place for building on such swampy land. The middle of Florida suffers from major sink holes every year with entire neighborhoods going down. Sea rise or not, flooding has always happened here.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
this a vid apparently surf side condo prior the failure showing water pouring into a car park
Building Integrity is an educational project of Consult Engineering, a structural engineering firm operating in Southwest Florida. One of their engineers, Josh, has published several videos on this collapse on youtube, he's been analysing the published construction drawings and reports. In this video he analyses what we're seeing in the above video and how it relates to the collapse:
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUrHdwdZyWc

SnowRunner-2021-0707-143210-025 1920x1080.jpg
The view in the smartphone video is down the ramp visible vertically in the center of this construction drawing, looking from the top towards the bottom. The purple circled columns are visible in the video, and the debris on the floor and the water spilling down from what looks like a broken sprinkler pipe are below the line formed by the 3 red circled columns (obviously only the part directly below the ramp is visible in the video).

The red circled columns form the front of the building part that collapsed first. This video seems to be evidence that the pool deck outside of that building collapsed before that, and that may have started the chain of collapse.
 
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derwoodii

Senior Member.
im now focusing on the pool deck planter boxes, possible post design-build additions with out thought of the extra weight on decking roof support and even what years of washed out fertilizer used could do to concrete & steel.



plantbox2.PNG
 

econ41

Senior Member
im now focusing on the pool deck planter boxes, possible post design-build additions with out thought of the extra weight on decking roof support and even what years of washed out fertilizer used could do to concrete & steel.
I agree that extra weight from post design additions could plausibly be a factor. Possible a triggering factor.

But I suggest that the key feature for forensic analysis purposes is the multiple column penetrations of the slab - circled in orange. The mechanism for those to occur almost certainly some form of cascading sequence involving load redistribution. (And - tho it may not be immediately obvious - it is analogous to the column failure sequence which was the main mechanism of the "initiation stage" of WTC Twin Towers collapses.) The penetrations sure sign of major trauma independent of whether or not planter box overload was the trigger.

If we accept for moot purposes that it was a cascading sequence the challenge then is to determine what triggered it - and overloading at one edge by the planter boxes is a plausible contributor tho I doubt it is sole cause. But the big question is where failure of the slab fitted in the overall collapse mechanism. Because if slab failure was the primary driver it starts to argue against concerns about foundation settlement being the driver. Corrosion driven rather than settlement driven.

Apologies for the speculation - it is too early and too little details available for fuller engineering assessment.
 
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Fromage

Member
that's the key information

I had surmised that salt water could randomly make telephone wires short out or not, and of course the static is easily explained once a connection was made, but I wasn't sure how random shorts could dial a number reliably.

[Btw, an easy way to quote just part of a post is to mark the part you want to quote with the mouse, and then click on the "reply" that pops up.]
It's possible that if the phone was still connected to the phone line intermittent shorts/opens can be interpreted as "hook flashes", that in some phones may cause them to redial or do something else weird. I've also occasionally noticed that occasionally when I hang up a POTS phone, the CO calls me right back. It's usually involved with something like dropping the phone or yanking on the cord. Don't ask me to try repeating it...
 

Fallingdown

Member
This is from a architect about a month ago.

The structural failure appears to have happened at the core of the building, where the horizontal concrete slabs meet the vertical concrete columns and shear walls, which are designed to resist lateral forces. The videos show that shortly after the compromise of the internal structure the building falls away from the ocean to the west, which suggests the concrete slabs disengaged from the internal backbone of the building, causing a "pancake" collapse.


Post-tension reinforcement -- or rebar -- gives 6-8 inch concrete slabs with the high structural integrity; however, building floors are not designed to absorb the load produced by the collapse of a floor. Therefore, when the initial slab fell, this may have caused a buckling effect between floors and the complete collapse of the northeast block of the building.



In live images, we see the vertical elevator shafts and stairwells, which are commonly where the shear walls connect to the horizontal slabs, providing the necessary lateral strength.
.
https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2021/06/25/opinions/miami-architect-building-collapse-kobi-karp/index.html

[/QUOTE]
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Doing a search of the Facebook 9/12 groups, I saw someone post the video of the demolition of the remains of the building, seeming to suggest it looked like the collapse of WTC7.

They miss that it doesn't really, and the original non-explosive collapse actually looks MORE like the WTC7 collapse.

2021-08-22_11-10-16.jpg
 
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