Brian Hamacher

Citation Issued in Sunny Isles Beach Building Explosion

The purging of the gas piping system of a Sunny Isles Beach building that exploded last week was not performed up to code, city building officials said Tuesday.

Twenty construction workers were inside the Chateau Beach Residences on Collins Avenue when the explosion happened Friday. Four civilians and two firefighters were injured in the explosion, which happened in the boiler room on the top floor of the high-rise building.

"The fuel gas was vented into a confined space with sources of ignition," the building department said in a citation. "Precautions were not taken to safety purge gas piping."

The temporary certificates of occupancy for the building were also revoked and the project was deemed unsafe, according to a letter from the city to the building's owners.

The building cannot be occupied by anyone except the general contractor, its employees, its agents and designated owner representatives, the letter said. Any repair work will have to be approved by the city's building department.

Coastal Construction, the company handling the project, said they're investigating the cause of the explosion.

"Forensic engineers continue to investigate the cause of the ignition, which remains unknown at this time," the company said in a statement Tuesday. "Once the cause is determined and the equipment is put back into service, we expect that ... the TCO will be reissued."

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