One night beforethat has killed at least four people and left more than 150 unaccounted for, Pablo Rodriguez said his mother heard something. “She just told me that she had woken up around 3:00, 4:00 in the morning and had heard some like creaking noises,” he said in an interview with CNN.
Another resident, Janette Aguero, said the building’s garage floor was often covered in water. “It was always wet even when it was dry out. It’s a beautiful day and you go, ‘Why am I stepping in a puddle of water to get to the car?'”
Aguero, who lives in Unit 1106, may have cheated death two apartments away. “We walked out and the apartment is … it’s just gone,” she told CBS News.
Forensic inspectors wonder whether something failed underneath the 40-year-old building. To support its weight, the tower’s builders had to drive concrete pylons deep into the sandbar. Saltwater could have seeped into the concrete and corroded the steel inside the pylons, shifting the base of the building.
“They will try to see where the source of, where the water’s coming from, and did that penetrate into the columns, the foundations,” said Atorod Azizinamini, a Florida International University structural engineering professor.
Champlain South’s building association is required by county law to reinspect the tower top to bottom every 40 years. An attorney for the association said it was undergoing the recertification process when the building collapsed.