(CNN Spanish) – A pool contractor servicing the pool at Champlain Towers 36 hours before its collapse told the Miami Herald that when he first entered the building, the pool area and upper lobby looked fine, but when he entered the basement garage below the pool deck, he claims he saw a lot of standing water and claims to have found cracks in the concrete from the pool equipment room, according to the reporter from the Miami Herald, Sarah Blaskey.
“[Él] He thought, ‘wow, why haven’t they maintained this building better?’ And he took a picture of that concrete to send to his boss, because he was there to do some cosmetic stuff in the pool, but he thought, ‘wow, this is going to be a bigger job’, he took a picture, he sent it to his boss, and that’s the photo (…) we posted just a couple of hours ago, ”Blaskey told CNN.
According to Blaskey, experts have told the Miami Herald that what the contractor’s photos show may be even worse than what was described in the 2018 report. “If for severe structural damage or severe damage to the structural slab, which is the phrase that was used in that 2018 report, if by that the engineer meant something like what we saw in this picture today, then certainly that kind of damage under the pool cover, which is closer to the north or north side of the building, that could have contributed to the collapse. The fear is that maybe that’s what’s going on, ”Blaskey said.
However, Blaskey noted one important caveat, noting that the photos were reportedly taken in the equipment room on the south side of the basement structure, rather than the north side, where the structure collapsed. “The building collapsed on the north side and therefore the part where you see these photos is not immediately in the collapse. It is unclear whether they contributed to the collapse. We understand that they could have, the way the building is formed. However, they did not collapse in the same way. Still, experts tell us that if other parts of the building or other parts of the structure looked the same as those photos in the pool room, then certainly that could have contributed to that collapse, “Blaskey told CNN .
Blaskey also pointed out that pool chemicals can worsen the degradation of concrete and rebar, making it possible for the damage under the pool deck to be insulated and the other rebar might not be as bad. serious.
CNN has independently communicated about the report and a spokesperson for the Champlain Towers South condo association declined to comment.