Construction worker Samuel Landis reportedly lost his leg on Monday after the debris from the demolition of a condo in Miami Beach spread farther than expected. His condition is listed as critical.
According to news sources, the building slated for demolition was a 13-story, 55-year-old condominium building known as the Marlborough House at 5775 Collins Avenue. The entire building collapsed in seconds, sending debris flying through the area. The debris and dust spread across avenue and shut down one of the main roads.
“The building collapsed in an unsafe manner, causing debris and thick smoke to cover Collins Avenue,” a Miami Beach patrol officer wrote in the incident report. “(He and another officer) quickly entered our patrol vehicle to escape the thick smoke.”
Some of the debris crashed into Landis, 46. He was found unconscious on the ground with a severed leg by the two police officers. The officers performed chest compressions on Landis until he regained consciousness. Landis was then transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he remains in critical condition.
People in neighboring buildings were informed of the scheduled demolition before the collapse on Monday. Miami Beach Fire Rescue performed a search of the rubble, but found no additional victims.
“All of the construction workers were accounted for and as a precaution they deployed search and rescue dogs and cadaver dogs,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber told news sources.
Officials have not yet determined what went wrong during the demolition. The building was bought by developer Jose Isaac Peres. He reportedly plans to build a 19-story building on the site, hence Monday’s demolition. Peres’ development company referred all questions to contractor Winmar Construction, Inc.
Winmar released a statement describing the incident as a “construction accident” and said the planned and approved demolition was 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,” Luis Leon, president of Winmar Construction, said in a statement to the press. He referred all questions about the incident to AlliedBean Demolition.
Landis was one of AlliedBean Demolition’s project managers. He has started and operated several construction-related businesses in Florida and Illinois over the past two decades, including Omega Demolition from 2003 to 2013. AlliedBean has not released any statement about the incident.
Miami Beach police are reportedly investigating the incident from a criminal angle, while the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating from a worker safety angle. Building inspectors have already determined that the adjacent buildings were not impacted by the collapse.
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