Water was flowing from the basement of a condominium building in Surfside, Florida, in Miami-Dade County, according to eyewitness video captured only eight minutes before the building crumbled to the ground on June 24.
The video was taken by Roberto Castillero’s wife, who was staying opposite the Miami high-rise. She later shared it online with the remark, “The basement was the first part to collapse.” Water was seen pouring down from the basement at Champlain Towers South in Surfside in the footage.
Notably, there had been numerous complaints about water stagnation all over the garage and pool leaks. According to a collection of emails and documents given by Surfside, residents and contractors had been expressing worries about the tower’s durability for years, focusing on structural issues and leaking in the garage and pool areas.
Two days before the building collapsed, photos taken in the pool equipment room of Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida, revealed cracked concrete on the walls and severely damaged rebar beneath the pool.
The man, who requested to remain anonymous in a Miami Herald report published Monday, June 28, went to the condo to put together a quote for cosmetic changes to the pool and equipment updates.
He also saw “standing water all over” the underground parking garage but did not photograph it, the Herald reported. And the biggest puddle of standing water he saw was near parking space 78, which is exactly beneath the section of the pool deck where engineer Frank Morabito indicated there was a “major error” in the spot’s original design in 2018.
In an interview with CNN, Pablo Rodriguez, a man whose mother and grandmother are among the people still missing in the disaster, told the network that his grandma called him to complain about the building’s creaking noises the night before the collapse.
“This just confirms the maintenance was not done over the many years,” he told CNN’s, Erin Burnett. “The board collects over a million dollars of maintenance fees from the unit owners every single year. Where was that money going? Because it wasn’t going to maintenance,” he added.
When contacted for comment, Maxwell Marcucci, a representative for the Champlain Towers South condo association, declined to comment on what the pool contractor observed.