This Day In History: June 24

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Early in the morning on June 24, 2021, 98 people die when a 12-story, beachfront condominium building collapses in Surfside, Florida, near Miami. The disaster is one of the worst of its kind in U.S. history.

Responders pulled dozens of survivors from the 40-year-old Champlain Towers South building the day of the collapse. But searches by rescuers in the ensuing days discovered no other survivors.

“The building is literally pancaked,” Surfside mayor Charles Burkett told reporters. Workers eventually cleared over 18 million pounds of concrete and rubble from the site.

The collapse began seven minutes before the residential tower fell, when the ground-floor parking area and a pool deck caved in, the Miami Herald reported.

An investigation by the newspaper uncovered design failures, shoddy construction, structural damage and neglect that led to the deadly chain reaction.

Engineers believed the cause of the collapse was a structural column or concrete slab giving way.

In wake of the collapse, Miami-Dade County inspected more than 500 similar buildings to identify obvious structural concerns.