Miami apartment building evacuated near site of fatal apartment collapse

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MIAMI (AP) — Residents of a Miami Beach apartment building on the same street where a condominium collapse killed nearly 100 people were forced to evacuate Thursday night after authorities determined the structure was not safe and gave the order to leave.

Miami Beach spokeswoman Melissa Berthier said around 4 p.m. Thursday that the city plans to issue an unsafe structure notice and order residents of the 14-story building in Port Royale to vacate immediately. Around 5 p.m., the condo board sent residents a mandatory notice to vacate by 7 p.m., the Miami Herald reported.

Residents of Port Royale said Miami Beach city officials informed them on Wednesday that the building needed to be evacuated, but the notice to leave immediately was not issued until Thursday. WPLG-TV reported.

A report from the building’s structural engineer triggered the evacuation notice for the 164-unit structure at 6969 Collins Avenue, which is undergoing 50-year recertification.

The site of the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Florida, which collapsed in June 2021 and killed 98 people, is also on Collins Avenue, about 2 kilometers from Port Royale.

The 12-story beachfront condominium building disaster in Surfside drew the largest non-hurricane emergency response in Florida history, including rescue teams from across the United States and from as far away as Israel to help local teams search for victims.

Engineers recommended installing additional ‘shoring’ to reinforce areas needing repair in the Port Royale garage to support a damaged beam. Officials said they expected the backup to be in place within 10 days, the Miami Herald reported.

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