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The New York Times has published an extensive graphic investigation, demonstrating several serious flaws in the design and construction of the Champlain Towers South condo collapse in June that killed 98 people.
The newspaper created a 3-D model of the tower based on the original design drawings. “That model, combined with a review of documents and interviews with structural experts, reveals how design errors, last-minute changes, dubious construction practices and years of worsening deterioration could have all contributed to the collapse,” the Times says in a front page article on Sept. 2.
There were problems from the pilings, through the garage and parking deck, to the structure itself — including missing or inadequate supporting beams, extra weight where it shouldn’t have been and excessive or lacking concrete rebar. The flawed design and construction allowed water to seep into places it shouldn’t have gone, further weakening the structure, The Times reported.
The newspaper said the collapse has spurred investigations that will last many years. “Such a catastrophic failure would almost certainly have many contributing factors, engineers said.”