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Collapsed Miami beach condo tower hadn't been certified since 1981 - when it was built

The Miami building that collapsed on Thursday morning killing at least one person and injuring countless others was due for re-certification and had hired engineers to complete electrical and structural changes, it has been revealed. 

USA Today also reports that it last year, Shimon Wdowinski, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at Florida International University, did a study on the building and found it to be unstable. 

He said on Thursday that he knew instantly which building had collapsed when he heard news reports of it.  

'I looked at it this morning and said ‘Oh my god." We did detect that,' he said. His study was part of a wider look at how buildings in Miami were sinking generally with rising sea levels. 

Champlain Towers South was completed in 1981 but hasn't been updated significantly since then. There are 136 condos inside and most belong to first-time homeowners. Some have sold for more than $2million. 55 of the condos collapsed on Thursday. 

Miami Dade building code dictates that buildings have to be re-certified every 40 years so the building was due to be recertified this year. 

A resident also sued in 2015 claiming building management did nothing to repair cracks from water damage.  

Champlain Towers South was completed in 1981 but hasn't been updated significantly since then. There are 136 condos inside and most belong to first-time homeowners. Some have sold for more than $2million. 55 of the condos collapsed on Thursday.

A closer view of the roof of the building, which was being redone. Officials are at a loss over what caused the collapse but local building managers are asking whether the roof renovation had anything to do with it 

To get it up to snuff, the Champlain Towers South Association had hired an engineer who was planning 'structural and electrical' updates, but hadn't started it yet, according to Kenneth Direktor, a lawyer for the association who spoke briefly to The Miami Herald on Thursday after the collapse. 

He didn't say what the needed updates were.  

 'Buildings don't fall down right away. They fall down because there are problems and those problems need attention

Bruce Masia of KW Property Management & Consulting

One realtor who has multiple apartments in the building said it was in 'OK shape', adding: 'They were just starting repairs to upgrade. ' 

'The agent didn't specify what those updates were but said they hadn't begun yet. 

Work was being done on the roof of the property and the Surfside Mayor said investigators would look into whether or not that may have caused the collapse in anyway. 

Bruce Masia of KW Property Management & Consulting told Biz Journal that the ongoing roof renovation on the property could have added extra weight that the building couldn't withstand. 

Shimon Wdowinski, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at Florida International University, did a study on the building and found it to be unstable

The core of the investigation into what happened, in that case, would be why the building couldn't withstand the extra weight. 

'Buildings don't fall down right away. They fall down because there are problems and those problems need attention,' he said. 

Surfside Mayor Charles W. Burkett said the roof renovations should not have contributed to the collapse, nor does the building's age. 

He fears the rest of the building is going to collapse. 

''That is heartbreaking because it doesn’t mean to me that we are going to be successful, as successful as we want to be to find people alive,' he said on Thursday afternoon. 

A Miami-Dade Police helicopter flies over Champlain Towers South Condo after a wing of the multistory building collapsed, Thursday, June 24, 2021, in Surfside, Florida. The cause of the collapse has not yet been proven 

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