Collapse: Disaster in Surfside

By Treefort Media & Miami Herald

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Description

In the middle of the night on June 24, 2021, a 12-story section of the Champlain Towers South condominium complex roared to the ground, killing 98 people in Surfside, Florida. Collapse: Disaster in Surfside is a 12-part investigative and narrative reporting project featuring the Pulitzer-Prize-winning coverage of the Miami Herald in collaboration with Treefort Media. We’re talking with survivors, witnesses, experts, first responders, and journalists, to get the whole story of Surfside. How the building went up, and why it went down. We’re piecing together 911 calls, police body camera recordings, surveillance footage, and forensic engineers digging deep into the evidence to find the truth. What went wrong? Who’s going to be held accountable? Could something like Surfside happen again? We’re looking for answers. And we’re meeting the people who called it home. We’re getting the stories of the lives lived and lost there. All this and more through the reporting of the Miami Herald, its partners, and host Paul Beban.

Episode Date
Episode 12: The Lives Lived and Lost
2887
On the morning of the collapse, at an emergency editorial meeting, before they even knew the scale of the loss of life, the editors at the Miami Herald made a commitment to write a full obituary of every single person who died in this unthinkable tragedy. In the twelfth and final episode of Collapse: Disaster in Surfside, we honor the memory of the victims of one of the worst structural failures in history, and hear from the editors and writers who carefully compiled 98 life stories, as well as the life story of the community of Champlain Towers South, which vanished in an instant.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 25, 2022
Episode 11: No Action Taken
2365
The Miami Herald’s investigative team unearths an exclusive story in the eleventh episode of Collapse: Disaster in Surfside. Large cracks in massive planters on the pool deck were noticed by the Champlain Towers' building manager, who alerted the structural engineer in charge of repairing the building for its 40-year certification—but nothing was done. Experts interviewed by the Herald say it was a missed warning sign —a fatal misdiagnosis—and that had emergency action been taken, 98 lives may not have been lost. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 18, 2022
Episode 10: “F*** that wall.” Construction Next Door and the Collapse
2377
In 2015, construction on an ultra-luxury high-rise condo named 87 Park got underway just 15 feet from Champlain Towers South. Champlain’s residents howled about the noise, vibrations, dust, disruption, and worried about potential damage to their building—but found that because it was just over the municipal border between Surfside and Miami Beach, there was little they could do about their unwelcome new neighbor. In the tenth episode of Collapse: Disaster in Surfside, we take a deep historical dive into the bad relations between these two buildings—right next door to each other but worlds apart, economically and politically. In the aftermath of the disaster, the developers and general contractor of 87 Park were among the targets of the class-action lawsuit filed by survivors and relatives of the dead, but have denied their work had anything to do with the catastrophe. Narrated by journalist Paul Beban.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 11, 2022
Episode 9: Doomed from the Start? Developers, Designers, and Players
2597
How did Champlain Towers South come into existence? In the ninth episode of Collapse: Disaster in Surfside, we profile the men who developed, designed and built this apartment complex. And, we also trace the building boom in south Florida that fueled condo construction there in the late 1970's and early 80's. At the time, Surfside was a small seaside town of low-rise buildings with money troubles, insufficient infrastructure, and outsized political dysfunction—until a group of Canadian developers stepped in with the plans, financing and motivation to erect big buildings in tiny Surfside. Were corners cut? Mistakes missed? Are other buildings still at risk? Narrated by journalist Paul Beban. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 04, 2022
Episode 8: The Rules are Different Here
2191
Almost a year after the tragic fall of the Champlain Towers South, we discuss why the Florida legislature has been hesitant to act to ensure it never happens again, and how the long-range consequences of the event are still unclear. We discuss the unique nature of the 40-year recertification process for buildings in Miami-Dade County, and the reason why buildings in the rest of Florida are not required to collect funds for repairs. We also explore how decisions made by lawmakers and the condo board could have caused the collapse of the building. Narrated by journalist Paul Beban. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 27, 2022
Episode 7: Neighbor vs. Neighbor
2782
The first lawsuit stemming from the collapse was filed literally before the sun had set on day one. Dozens more would follow in its wake over the months to come. As the first anniversary of the disaster approaches, the case has become a legally complex and emotionally excruciating battle over money and blame. Neighbor is pitted against neighbor with millions of dollars at stake. In the seventh episode of Collapse: Disaster in Surfside, we go inside a March court hearing where survivors who lost everything and relatives who lost loved ones make their opposing cases in open court for the first time. The Herald’s journalists lay out the legal issues and the emotional landscape in exacting and illuminating detail. Narrated by journalist Paul Beban. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 20, 2022
Episode 6: Fate
2388
The clock continues to count down on the final seven minutes between when the pool deck came crashing down, and the catastrophic crumbling of the tower above. In the sixth episode of Collapse: Disaster in Surfside, we learn how a woman who narrowly escaped from the 6th floor credits divine intervention, and how a fateful phone call from the 4th floor fits into the timeline of the collapse sequence. The Herald’s reporters continue to walk us through the investigation, and we shift to questions about the original design of the building, as well as the bitter legal battle that has followed in the wake of its stunning, sudden, and tragic failure. Narrated by journalist Paul Beban. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 13, 2022
Episode 5: Seven Minutes to Collapse
2441
In the only video of the disaster, an entire wing of Champlain Towers South seems to suddenly crash to the ground without warning. But the video doesn’t tell the whole story. The collapse sequence actually took a full seven minutes to unfold, culminating in what was caught on camera. The fifth episode of Collapse: Disaster in Surfside is the first of a two-episode investigation into exactly what happened during those seven minutes, reconstructed through the eyes and ears of key witnesses: a security guard, a tourist, a family of night owls, a couple coming home from dinner, a woman with a guardian angel and a model who watched the structure cave in around her. Split-second decisions meant the difference between life and death. Narrated by journalist Paul Beban. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 06, 2022
Episode 4: From Rescue to Recovery
2247
Despite round-the-clock search teams since the collapse of Champlain Towers South, there have not been any signs of life from the rubble. Conditions in the debris are getting more difficult and dangerous with each passing day. In the fourth episode of Collapse: Disaster in Surfside we’re still in the private briefing room as families wait in anguish for word of their loved ones. The heartbreaking shift from search and rescue to search and recovery is made and President Biden arrives to support and mourn with the families, behind closed doors. We also hear from the Miami Herald’s investigative team as they start to turn up clues about what went wrong at Champlain Towers South. Why did the building come down? Who’s responsible? And are others in danger? Narrated by journalist Paul Beban. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 30, 2022
Episode 3: Inside the Room
2497
Behind closed doors in the “family reunification center,” an emotional scene plays out in the days following the collapse. The third episode of Collapse: Disaster in Surfside takes us inside the large room at the Grand Beach Hotel that is away from the media frenzy, but not far from where Champlain Towers South once stood. Over the next two weeks, first responders from Miami Dade Fire Rescue update the loved ones of those still missing on the state of the search. Using live-stream Instagram video and rare documentary footage, we go inside that room where emotions are raw, nerves are fractured, and hope is waning. Narrated by journalist Paul Beban. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 23, 2022
Episode 2: Feet From Death
2496
For many residents of Champlain Towers South, life or death hinged on where their apartments were located: a few feet down the hallway made the difference. In the second episode of Collapse: Disaster in Surfside, we remain at the scene. The reality of the tragedy is beginning to sink in as search and rescue teams, journalists and the world struggle to comprehend how and why this apartment building filled with sleeping families was reduced to rubble. There are so many questions, and no answers at this point. Fears that the remainder of the condo could fall any minute are compounded by a dramatic race to find survivors. Narrated by journalist Paul Beban. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 16, 2022
Episode 1: No Warning
2385
Buildings don’t just fall, for no reason, in the middle of the night. But, at 1:22 am on June 24, 2021, a 12-story wing of the Champlain Towers South condo partially pancaked to the ground — a catastrophe so rare, it’s difficult to find an equivalent in modern history. Collapse: Disaster in Surfside investigates whether the tower was doomed from the moment it was built, who is potentially to blame, and what’s being done to make sure this never happens again. We hear the tragedy unfold in real-time, through 911 calls, police body cam footage, fire rescue dispatch audio, interviews with survivors, eyewitnesses, and family members. The developing story is tracked by the Miami Herald reporters covering this unthinkable event in their own backyard. Narrated by journalist Paul Beban. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 09, 2022
Introducing Collapse: Disaster in Surfside
154
In the middle of the night on June 24, 2021, a 12-story section of the Champlain Towers South condominium complex roared to the ground, killing 98 people in Surfside, Florida.  Collapse: Disaster in Surfside is a 12-part investigative and narrative reporting project; a co-production of the Miami Herald and Treefort Media.  We’re talking with survivors, witnesses, experts, first responders, and journalists, to get the whole story of Surfside. How the building went up, and why it went down. We’re piecing together 911 calls, police body camera recordings, surveillance footage, and forensic engineers digging deep into the evidence to find the truth.  What went wrong? Who’s going to be held accountable? Could something like Surfside happen again? We’re looking for answers. And we’re meeting the people who called it home. We’re getting the stories of the lives lived and lost there. All this and more through the reporting of the Miami Herald, its partners, and host Paul Beban.  New episodes release every Wednesday. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 18, 2021