UPDATE, 10/20: The body of a fourth victim of the Oct. 10 parking garage collapse at Miami Dade College, believed to be Robert Budhoo, was reported recovered from the collapse site on Oct. 18, according to the Huffington Post Miami. Recovery crews found Budhoo, a 53-year-old electrician, on Oct. 15, but were unable to recover his body due to his location within the rubble.
UPDATE, 10/16: News reports came in Monday evening that crews have discovered a fourth body at the site of the parking garage collapse at Miami Dade College. According to the Huffington Post Miami, rescuers believe it to be Robert Budhoo, 53, who has been missing since the collapse occurred Oct. 10. However, due to the conditions of the site, the news site reports that it could be days before they will be able to recover the body and confirm his identity.
Additionally, the project's general contractor, Ajax Building Corp., held another daily press briefing on Oct. 15. For this latest briefing, company president Bill Byrne noted that contractors and investigators had agreed on a plan to begin removing debris from the site. The Associated Press posted the following video of the press conference on its Youtube channel.
Associated Press video of Ajax Building Corp.'s Oct. 15 press conference.
UPDATE, 10/15, 6:15 a.m.: Over the weekend, CBS News and the Associated Press interviewed one of the workers who had been working at the garage when it collapsed. That worker, Anthony Williams, 27, reported seeing a crack in the building on the fifth floor approximately 10 minutes before the collapse. Williams said he jumped from the second floor as the structure started to collapse. There was no further description of the crack.
Also, NBC 6 Miami reported that the wife of a still-missing worker, Robert Budhoo, is frustrated with the search for her husband, which has been stymied by dangerous conditions. Also, the Miami Herald reported that Budhoo, 53, worked for Stryker Electric.
UPDATE, 10/12, 3:30 p.m.: Officials with Ajax Building Corp. addressed the media again today. Bill Byrne, company president, read a statement, which read in part:
"Our corporate safety officer is here and has met with OSHA, and as has always been our practice, will be working hand-in-hand with the OSHA team...."
"As much as all of us want to know what happened, it is simply too early to determine what caused the collapse. It is critically important that we let OSHA do its job. Speculation does not inform the process, or help in any way.... We stand ready to assist OSHA and the authorities in every way possible, and to serve as a full partner in their investigation. We are absololutely committed to a thorough, transparent finding of fact."
CBS Miami, which streamed the Friday news conference live, has posted it as a video on its website, and readers can find it here.
Meanwhile, recovery efforts were ongoing, with reports that responders were trying to find a fourth missing worker.
Earlier, the Miami-Dade Police Dept. identified the three workers who died in the accident. They were: Carlos Hurtado de Mendoza, 48, of Miami; Jose Calderon, 60, Miami; and Samuel Perez, 53, Miami.
This afternoon, Byrne told ENR that he knew of no difficulties related to the project's design or construction that the project team had been encountering prior to the collapse. "It [had] really been a good project," he said. "Inspections were all going very well."
According to Byrne, Miami Dade College had hired MEP Structural, an engineering and inspection firm in Coconut Creek, Fla., to handle the project's inspections.
Byrne added that Ajax's insurance company, Liberty Mutual, had hired an engineering consultant to aid in the investigation, but he did now know the name of the company.
Finally, while Byrne stated during the press conference that a crawler crane working on the job had been damaged and returned to service during the days prior to the collapse. However, an issue with the crane does not appear to be a contributing factor, as the crane currently appears to be "fine," he says. The crane was being used to erect a spandrel beam at the time of collapse, Byrne adds—an assumption that is being made based on the fact that the beam is still connected to the crane, and there not does appear to be any sign of equipment failure.
UPDATE, 10/11, 12:30 p.m.: Bill Byrne, president of Ajax Building Corp., Midway, Fla., addressed the media during a press conference held at 11 a.m. today at Miami Dade College, which was streamed live via NBC Miami. Byrne reiterated that Ajax was focused on the ongoing rescue and recovery efforts, and on assisting the victims' families. He would not name any of the victims, and stated that as of yet, there was "no indication of any potential cause." In response to a question from a reporter about whether there had been concerns or warnings about the project prior to the collaprse, Byrne said there had been "no warning whatsoever."
Photo courtesy Robert Hernandez, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue
Byrne estimated that the workers who had become trapped in the building at the time of the collapse had been employed with the building's erector, and a welding firm, but did not name the companies during his press conference. However, a public relations official working for Ajax later told ENR that Solar Erector, working as a subcontractor to Ajax, was the project's erector. Additionally, the official stated that the project's structural engineer was Bliss & Nyitray.
Also, Byrne explained that the parking garage was a precast concrete structure; he added that Ajax had previously built four "similar" garages.
On Oct. 10, Ajax posted an official statement on its website, in which it stated: "While we do not yet know the cause of this tragic collapse, we are committed to working actively and cooperatively with our design and construction partners and local, state and federal authorities to determine the exact cause of this accident. We also intend to conduct an internal review with our partners, Harvard Jolly and Coreslab."
At the press conference, Byrne stated that prior to the collapse the project had been on schedule for its planned December completion.
A Dodge project report from McGraw-Hill Construction lists Harvard Jolly, based in St. Petersburg, Fla., as the project's architect. The project report describes the project as a five-story, 1,848-space parking garage, totaling 520,000 sq ft, including 115,000 sq ft of classroom and office shell space. Harvard Jolly has not yet responded to ENR's inquiries.
Coreslab Structures is a national precast concrete firm with an office in Medley, Fla.
UPDATE, 10/11, 9:30 a.m.: CNN and others are reporting that there has been a third fatality at the collapsed parking structure in Doral. Also, according to CNN's blog, rescuers were able to free a worker who had been trapped. However, the blog stated: "In order to get the man out of the collapsed garage, medics had to perform a double amputation."
UPDATE, 10/10 8:15 p.m.: USA Today, and other media sources, reported that rescuers found a second worker who has died as a result of the collapse. As of that report, another worker remained trapped within the debris, and USA Today stated that it could possibly take days to free the worker. None of the victims' names had yet been reported.
10/10, 5:00 p.m.: A parking garage structure under construction at Miami-Dade College's west campus in Doral collapsed late Wednesday morning, Oct. 10, killing one worker, according to news reports. Officials from the school and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue stated during a 3:00 p.m. press conference—broadcast by the CBS local affiliate in Miami—that another worker remained trapped. Rescue workers had located the unidentified worker, and were providing oxygen and other support.
At the press conference, Juan Mendieta, director of communications at Miami-Dade College, said that the construction was being led by general contractor Ajax Building Corp., in the company's first project for the school. He added that MDC's Doral campus would remain closed for the rest of the week.
Capt. Louis Fernandez, of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, stated that approximately 96 fire-rescue units responded to the incident, and more than 300 fire-rescue professionals had been on site. He added that there had been a total of nine victims, including the single fatality. In the Youtube video included below, Fernandez states that the garage suffered a "pancake-style" collapse, in which multiple floors progressively collapse downward.
WPTV News in West Palm Beach filed this report on the unfolding events on the evening of Oct. 10. Video courtesy Youtube.com.
Raw footage of the collapsed structure, via Youtube.
ABC News posted this video earlier today that includes information about the recovery of a man from the project's rubble.
Editor's Note: The news report video included here has been updated from the original post.