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Engineers Zero in on Possible Failure Point in Miami Condo Disaster

Picture credit Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

After studying surveillance footage of the building collapse, investigators have honed in on a possible origin point for the structural disaster. Focus is now centered on the area around the underground parking garage.

The building cave-in is an example of what experts call a "progressive collapse." Whatever the reason for the spread of failures that resulted in the leveling of the structure, it could not have occurred without a critical initial failure.

“It does appear to start either at or very near the bottom of the structure,” said Donald O. Dusenberry, a consulting engineer and expert on structural collapses. “It’s not like there’s a failure high and it pancaked down.”

As of the time of this writing there are 9 confirmed dead and 152 residents still unaccounted for. As workers search for survivors, there is an additional sense of urgency surrounding the possibility that adjacent structures may be at risk of collapse as well.

The disaster in Surfside, Florida, may turn out to be the deadliest accidental building collapse in American history.

Read full story on The New York Times

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