Advertisement
  1. News

One person critically injured during demolition of Miami Beach condo building

A first responder's cadaver dog scours the scene after the former Marlborough House condominium building in Miami Beach, Fla., collapsed Monday, July 23, 2018, injuring one, according to Miami Beach police. Debris spread across Collins Avenue and caused the main north-south artery through Miami Beach to be shut down in both directions from 41st to 63rd streets. [Carl Juste | Miami Herald via AP]
Published Jul. 23, 2018

A project manager for a Fort Lauderdale demolition company was critically injured Monday during the demolition of the former Marlborough House condominium building in Miami Beach, Miami Beach police said.

The same debris that spread across Collins Avenue and shut down a main north-south artery through Miami Beach until Monday afternoon also smashed into 46-year-old Samuel Landis. Landis was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital and remained in critical condition as of late Monday afternoon.

Rescue workers from the Miami Beach, Miami and Miami-Dade fire departments conducted a search and rescue operation, but found no other victims.

"All of the construction workers were accounted for and as a precaution they deployed search and rescue dogs and cadaver dogs," said Mayor Dan Gelber.

Brazilian developer Jose Isaac Peres bought the 13-floor, 1963 building at 5775 Collins Ave. and plans to replace it with a 19-story tower on the beachfront property. Thus, Monday's demolition.

As for what went wrong, Multiplan Real Estate Asset Management, Peres' development company, referred questions to contractor, Winmar Construction, Inc. In a statement, Winmar described the incident as a "construction accident" that occurred "during the planned, approved and permitted demolition" conducted by subcontractor AlliedBean Demolition.

"We are working closely with City officials and industry agencies to understand what happened during Allied's demolition of the structure," Winmar Construction president Luis Leon said in a statement that referred in any questions about the incident to AlliedBean Demolition.

Video provided by GC Construction shows the former Marlborough House condominium building in Miami Beach collapsing on Monday morning.

AlliedBean refused to make anyone available to answer questions about how its project manager wound up in critical condition.

The Miami Beach Police Department is conducting a criminal investigation into the incident while the Occupational Health and Safety Association will also be investigating.

Miami Beach building inspectors have confirmed that the adjacent buildings were not impacted by the collapse, the city said in a statement. Air quality inspectors confirmed that any asbestos risks were properly handled before demolition, Beach cops said.

Building permit records online show that the owner applied for an implosion permit in August 2017. That permit was denied because Miami Beach does not allow implosions, said Ana Salgueiro, the city's building director. Then the owner applied for a regular demolition permit, which was issued on April 18, 2018.

A permit corrections report online describes the demolition as "total demolition of multi-family residential structure by conventional methods. No longer using the implosion method."

Once a demolition permit is granted, construction crews can demolish the building whenever they're prepared to do so without notifying the building department, Salgueiro said. In a letter sent to residents in a nearby building on July 20, the owner of the site said that demolition of "certain interior components" of the Marlborough House building had already been completed and that demolition of the main structure and remaining components could begin as soon as 8 a.m. on Monday, July 23.

"Demolition will continue to occur through conventional methods pursuant to the demolition permit issued by the City of Miami Beach," Derrick Chin, the manager for property owner Miami Beach Associates LLC, said in the letter. "The work may take a couple of weeks to complete, and a portion of the building many remain until the work is completed."

Winmar describes itself as a "full service construction management company and general contractor partner" and works mainly in Washington DC and Miami. Its projects have been inspected eight times by OSHA since 2012 with varying results.

OSHA found no violations on the lone Miami project inspection, work on the Shelborne South Beach in 2014. But on Winmar's most recent project inspection, in 2017, OSHA found three serious violations involving liquid petroleum and stairways and fined the company $13,942 on a Washington DC project. Winmar settled the fine down to $9,062.

AlliedBean's only OSHA inspection turned up no violations during a 2015 demolition of the old Crystal Lake Golf and Country Club clubhouse at 3800 Crystal Lake Drive in Deerfield Beach. The Fort Lauderdale-based company was incorporated in 2012 by Liliana Alavarez and Kevin Bean, who remain the company's two directors according to Sunbiz.com.

AlliedBean's website says, "Our number one priority is our commitment to protect the life and property on every AlliedBean project."

Miami Herald staff writer Joey Flechas contributed to this report

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. An American Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft approaches Miami International Airport for landing in March. Bloomberg
    The 60-year-old veteran airline employee told investigators he was upset that union contract negotiations had stalled.
  2. Maurice A. Ferré at his Miami home earlier this year. JOSE A. IGLESIAS  |  Miami Herald
    He served as mayor for 12 years and set the stage for Miami to become an international city.
  3. Lilly Beth Rodriguez, left, Laura Robertson and Linda Lamont work on a Habitat for Humanity house in north Pasco. [Times (2013)]
    The increase is expected to happen in the first half of next year. CEO hopes other nonprofits follow suit.
  4. Terry Spencer carries his daughter, Trinity, through high water on 59th Street near Stewart Road in Galveston, Texas, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, as heavy rain from Tropical Depression Imelda caused street flooding on the island. JENNIFER REYNOLDS  |  AP
    Although the amount of predicted rainfall is massive — forecasters say some places could see 40 inches or more this week.
  5. This April 2001 photo, which appeared in a newsletter from the West Point Grey Academy, shows a costumed Justin Trudeau, his face and hands darkened by makeup, attending an "Arabian Nights" gala. The academy is a private school in Vancouver, B.C., where Trudeau worked as a teacher before entering politics. (West Point Grey Academy/The Canadian Press via AP)
    A few Southern politicians responded to similar scandals recently with denials, apologies, and promises. Most of them have managed to stay in office.
  6. The number of single-family homes sold in the Tampa Bay area during August rose 2.8 percent when compared with the same month last year, according to a monthly report from Florida Realtors. (Times file photo)
    The midpoint price in the bay area rose to $250,000, which is still lower than the state and national median prices.
  7. This April 14, 2019 file photo shows a western meadowlark in the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City, Colo. According to a study released on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, North America’s skies are lonelier and quieter as nearly 3 billion fewer wild birds soar in the air than in 1970. Some of the most common and recognizable birds are taking the biggest hits, even though they are not near disappearing yet. The population of eastern meadowlarks has shriveled by more than three-quarters with the western meadowlark nearly as hard hit. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) DAVID ZALUBOWSKI  |  AP
    “People need to pay attention to the birds around them because they are slowly disappearing,” said the study’s lead author.
  8. Michael Robert-Jose Harbaugh has pleaded guilty in the 2017 slaying of Safety Harbor neighbor David Sommer, a former reporter. Harbaugh also pleaded guilty to a charge he tried to have a witness in the case killed. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
    Michael Harbaugh, 42, also pleaded guilty to trying to have a fellow inmate kill a witness in the murder case.
  9. Rep. Susan Valdes, D-Tampa, during a Feb. 7, 2019, meeting of the House PreK-12 Appropriations subcommittee. [The Florida Channel]
    ‘One test should not determine the rest of your life,’ Rep. Susan Valdes says.
  10. The Aldi store located on 1551 34th St N, St. Petersburg, Florida in 2018, features its updated layout. JONES, OCTAVIO   |  Tampa Bay Times
    The store will re-open after renovations on Thursday, Sept. 26
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement