Champlain Towers East residents reveal photos of cracks in building after collapse of Towers South


A frightened resident who lives in a sister building to the collapsed Champlain Towers South has shared photos of a huge crack that appeared in his garage after it crumbled – and says he fears his home could crumble next.

Robert Lisman shared the snaps and spoke to local news outlets after spotting the huge chunk of concrete gouged out of the column of nearby Champlain Towers East, where he lives. A rusted metal ‘rebar’ – used to reinforce concrete used in construction – was visible as a result of the damage.

Lisman attended an emergency meeting about the collapse in Surfside, Florida, on Friday night. Afterwards, he told Local10: ‘I am afraid that there could be some issue in our building that will result in what we saw in Champlain Towers South.’  

Speaking to NBC6 on Monday, Lisman, who has not been asked to evacuate his home, said: ‘I have concerns, but I’m not panicking. I know that there are things we need to address and look at, but there’s no imminent threat.’

Lisman added that he was ‘confident’ that Champlain Towers East was still structurally safe, but said of planners and engineers now inspecting local properties: ‘Their decisions have life and death consequences.

‘And so when I’m told there’s nothing to worry about, it’s trust but verify.’  

Lisman spoke after Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett pledged to a building review for the remaining East and North Champlain Towers, saying it was ‘imprudent not to take some types of steps to address that issue with the sister building.’

The east tower sits just one building away from the wrecked south tower, and also faces onto the ocean, amid concerns regular sea water floods may have corroded concrete and caused the south tower’s collapse.  

Commissioner Eliana Salzhauer added that Surfside must expand and increase building recertification requirements and called for additional studies to help prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future.

The emergency meeting was held just one day after the formerly 12-story Champlain Towers South collapsed. As of Monday, at least ten have been confirmed as dead and 156 are still missing.

Authorities in Miami-Dade County are continuing to search for survivors who might be trapped in air pockets under the collapsed Towers South rubble. Search and rescue dogs have been deployed on scene as of Friday morning. 

Residents at Towers East and North buildings are now worried after spotting cracks in their units following Thursday’s collapse, which has left at least 10 dead 

Structural damage can be seen at Champlain Towers East, adjacent to the site of Thursday's condo collapse, causing residents great concern over the integrity of their own building

Structural damage can be seen at Champlain Towers East, adjacent to the site of Thursday’s condo collapse, causing residents great concern over the integrity of their own building

'I am afraid that there could be some issue in our building that will result in what we saw in Champlain Towers South,' said Champlain Towers East resident Robert Lisman

‘I am afraid that there could be some issue in our building that will result in what we saw in Champlain Towers South,’ said Champlain Towers East resident Robert Lisman

Aerial view of Champlain Towers South (collapsed) and Champlain Towers East, which was the site of Thursday's fatal building collapse in Surfside, Florida

Aerial view of Champlain Towers South (collapsed) and Champlain Towers East, which was the site of Thursday’s fatal building collapse in Surfside, Florida

The extent of the damage from Thursday's partial collapse can still be seen as of Monday, as officials held an emergency town meeting to address concerns of nearby residents

The extent of the damage from Thursday’s partial collapse can still be seen as of Monday, as officials held an emergency town meeting to address concerns of nearby residents

During Friday’s meeting, residents and town officials alike discussed how the recent tragedy will affect building certification and recertification processes, which currently involve inspections every 40 years according to area news affiliate Local10.com.  

‘Hurricane Andrew changed the Florida building codes forever, so this terrible tragedy, which is a national tragedy, is going to change the building codes as they relate to certification,’ the town’s building official, James ‘Jim’ McGuinness, said during Friday’s emergency meeting. 

McGuinness says he was in the process of inspecting the replacement roof’s anchor at the Champlain Towers South around 14 hours before a part of the structure collapsed.

While work was being done on the Towers South rooftop at 8777 Collins Ave., McGuinness stresses that nothing on the roof would have caused the building to crumble like it did. 

‘There was no inordinate amount of equipment or materials or anything on that roof that caught my building official’s eye that would make it alarming as to this place collapsing,’ he said, while noting that the cause of the collapse still remains under investigation as of Monday.

Residents of the adjacent Champlain Towers East high-rise voiced their growing concerns to Surfside officials at Friday’s emergency town meeting, having noticed cracks appearing in their building following Thursday’s nearby fatal collapse.

Beach view of the Champlain Towers South (left) and Champlain Towers East (right) sister building prior to the partial collapse of the south tower

Beach view of the Champlain Towers South (left) and Champlain Towers East (right) sister building prior to the partial collapse of the south tower

Search and Rescue teams look for possible survivors on Monday in the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building

Search and Rescue teams look for possible survivors on Monday in the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building 

Search dogs and rescue crews are being used to help find more than 150 people that are still missing from the partial building collapse

Search dogs and rescue crews are being used to help find more than 150 people that are still missing from the partial building collapse

A stretcher is lifted out of the wreckage of Champlain Towers South on Monday afternoon. The death toll for the disaster now sits at 11

A stretcher is lifted out of the wreckage of Champlain Towers South on Monday afternoon. The death toll for the disaster now sits at 11 

South Florida Search and Rescue Teams work with a trained dog in the hunt for survivors at Champlain Towers East on Monday

South Florida Search and Rescue Teams work with a trained dog in the hunt for survivors at Champlain Towers East on Monday 

A red dumpster was winched onto the site on Wednesday. Hopes are fading of finding survivors from the disaster, with 150 people still unaccounted for

A red dumpster was winched onto the site on Wednesday. Hopes are fading of finding survivors from the disaster, with 150 people still unaccounted for 

Town officials had previously hosted an information session at the community center at nearby 9301 Collins Ave. for those residents who are still looking for unaccounted-for relatives shortly after the collapse.

Mayor of Miami-Dade County Daniella Levine Cava said relatives were being briefed twice every day since the fatal collapse, while displaced residents were ultimately moved to Grand Beach Hotel Surfside on Friday, according to the local news outlet.

For more information or to report the status of a loved one who is still unaccounted for, call 305-614-1819 or 305-993-1071. 



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