Emergency meeting held following collapse at construction site in Brickell

Area remains blocked off to drivers

MIAMI – An emergency meeting was held Monday with City of Miami officials and the demolition contractor involved in this past weekend’s collapse at a construction site in Brickell.

The meeting was not open to the public.

Local 10 News obtained video from Only In Dade Saturday that captured parts of a building that was being demolished collapsing near drivers.

It happened Saturday at around 2:40 p.m. near Southeast Seventh Street and Brickell Avenue.

Authorities told Local 10 News that demolition crews were working on the One Brickell City Centre when the incident occurred.

“It really felt like an explosion. It was -- it was like something that fell on the floor and we thought it was a bomb,” Brickell resident Elias Mercado told Local 10 News.

Mercado lives in the building next door to where the collapse happened.

“When we saw it on the video, I was thinking how lucky we were because we always walk through that corridor,” he said.

No injuries were reported.

A city spokesperson said an emergency meeting would be held Monday with the demolition contractor to discuss what they say is “the unsafe manner in which the site has been conducting demolition activities.”

Unsecured debris was later removed from the area, but the demolition has now been stopped until a report reviewing safety measures, policies and the site’s condition can be finished.

“I think the city has an obligation to do more given Miami is growing and booming,” one resident said.

As a result of the incident, part of Southeast Seventh Street near the site remains closed to all drivers as the incident remains under review.

On Monday, crews repaired scaffolding and put up wire fencing. City officials said all of that had to be done before the street is allowed to reopen to traffic, which could happen as early as Monday night.

“The incident is under investigation and we’re grateful that there were no injuries or significant property damage,” a spokesperson for Swire Properties and Related Companies said in a statement. “Safety is our absolute top priority, the site has been secured and work is stopped while we continue to assess what occurred.”

Local 10 learned Monday that South Florida-based company Alpha Wrecking was in charge of the demolition.

No one would speak with reporter Trent Kelly when he called, however, one of their representatives was at the site Monday along with OSHA officials, the scaffolding company and city building officials, assessing what needs to be done before the sidewalk reopens.

OSHA will have to be notified of the new safety measures and plan, and the city says any future demolition work will need to be done at night, with lanes blocked off, police, and inspectors present. Once that’s in order, then, and only then, can demolition resume.

About the Authors:

Trent Kelly is an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the Local 10 News team in June 2018. Trent is no stranger to Florida. Born in Tampa, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated with honors from the UF College of Journalism and Communications.

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.