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6 Things to Know: Fire Rescue Radio Calls Detail Surfside Condo Collapse

It’s Tuesday, June 29th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day

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It’s Tuesday, June 29th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.

No. 1 - Rescuers' search for survivors entered a sixth day Tuesday, as crews working the site of the South Florida condo building collapse have used bucket brigades and heavy machinery atop a precarious mound of pulverized concrete, twisted steel and the remnants of dozens of households.

Authorities said Monday evening that the efforts are still a search-and-rescue operation, but no one has been found alive since hours after the collapse on Thursday. Eleven people have been confirmed killed, and 150 others are still missing in the community of Surfside, just outside Miami. Rescue crews pulled two more bodies from the rubble Monday, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said. All of the victims that were found were scattered throughout the debris field.

No. 2 - The engineer’s report that in 2018 found “major structural damage” in Champlain Towers South apparently did not raise an alarm with the man in charge of Surfside’s Building Department at the time.

According to minutes from a condominium association meeting in November 2018, the town building official Ross Prieto, who has since left the position, told the community that night: “It appears the building is in very good shape.” In October 2018, the Champlain South Condominium Association had gotten some concerning news from the engineer it hired to conduct a field survey of the building: "failed waterproofing is causing major structural damage" to concrete below the pool deck and a planter in an area that was not draining properly. To hear more of the concerns, click here for the story from NBC 6 investigator Tony Pipitone.

No. 3 - As urban search and rescue teams continued their search for survivors at the Surfside condominium collapse site Monday, the first radio calls from rescue workers who responded to the building are being heard.

NBC 6 exclusively obtained the internal radio communication from when the building first went down early Thursday. Among the first to arrive at the Champlain Towers South Condo at Collins Avenue and 88th Street was Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Engine 76. The radio calls also give the first details on what could be seen by the rescue teams, including a comparison to the World Trade Center in New York. To hear the emotional audio, click here for the story from NBC 6 investigator Willard Shepard.

No. 4 - Local municipalities are ramping up inspections of older buildings following the collapse of the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside. 

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced Monday that she is directing the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources to begin a 30-day audit of all residential properties five stories or higher that are 40 years or older. This is only for buildings in the county, not within local municipalities. Many other South Florida municipalities have announced additional steps to inspect older buildings. To hear which ones are joining in, click here for the story from NBC 6 consumer investigator Sasha Jones.

No. 5 - Residents at the Champlain Tower South raised concerns about construction next door two months after a town official received a report on “major structural damage,” but reassured them the building was in “very good shape.” 

Last week, part of the tower collapsed. 11 people have died and 150 are still unaccounted for. Emails posted online by the Town of Surfside responding to a public records request give some details. On January 23, 2019, a condo board member notified Prieto they also had concerns about the next-door construction for the now completed Eighty Seven Park. Condo board member Mara Chouela wrote she was worried the construction was too close and impacted Champlain Tower South. To see what else was said, click here for the story from NBC 6 investigator Phil Prazan.

No. 6 – While rescue workers continue their work at the site of the condo collapse in Surfside, organizations are working to support the families of victims and those who survived.

While some organizations are collecting donations in the aftermath of the tragedy, public officials say they've received plenty of goods and donations at this time. However, cash donations are being accepted. If you are interested in donating, here are several organizations that are currently helping those affected by the Surfside tragedy. Click here for a complete list.

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