The federal government has confirmed that the four Canadians who may be affected by the deadly building collapse near Miami are from three different families.
A Global Affairs Canada (GAC) official said two Canadian families were living in the condo building at the time of the collapse, but an individual from a third family was staying with one of them.
“Global Affairs Canada can confirm that at least 4 Canadian citizens are unaccounted for. Three different families have been affected by this tragedy,” the agency said in an emailed statement to Global News on Sunday.
“Canada sends its deepest condolences to the family and friends who lost a loved one in the building collapse in Surfside, Florida,” the statement read.
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GAC said they are in contact with the families after the seaside condominium tower collapsed Thursday. They added that Canadian consular officials in Miami are in touch with local authorities to gather more information.
More than 150 people are unaccounted for and at least nine have been confirmed dead after the 12-storey Champlain Towers South collapsed in Surfside, just north of Miami.
Little is known about the Canadians, including whether they are still missing. Meanwhile, first responders are continuing their efforts to find survivors.
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Late Saturday, the Miami-Dade Police Department identified four of the victims as Stacie Dawn Fang, 54; Antonio Lozano, 83; Gladys Lozano, 79; and Manuel LaFont, 54.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters Sunday that find-and-rescue teams were working “around the clock” to find those still unaccounted for.
“They’ve stepped up to the plate and they have not stopped during this whole time,” he said.
DeSantis added that a team from Israel had been called in to help with rescue efforts.
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Building needed over $9 million in repairs
Nearly three years before Champlain Towers South collapsed, an engineering firm called Morabito Consultants estimated that the building needed major repairs that would cost more than USD$9 million, according to newly released emails made public by the City of Surfside.
The 2018 report found evidence of “major structural damage” to the concrete slab below the ground-floor pool deck and “abundant cracking and spalling” of the columns, beams and walls of the building’s parking garage.
Waterproofing under the pool deck was also improperly laid on a flat structure, preventing water from draining until it evaporated.
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“The failed waterproofing is causing major structural damage to the concrete structural slab below these areas. Failure to replace the waterproofing in the near future will cause the extent of the concrete deterioration to expand exponentially,” the report said.
“Though some of this damage is minor, most of the concrete deterioration needs to be repaired in a timely fashion.”
The cost estimate showed that repairs across the entire building would cost more than $9.1 million, with the cost of work at the garage, entrance and pool deck alone accounting for more than $3.8 million. The work had not been done by the time the building collapsed.
It is unclear if any of the damages listed in the report were responsible for the building’s collapse.
— With files from the Canadian Press and the Associated Press
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