SURFSIDE, Fla. – The answers into what caused Champlain Towers South to come down likely won’t come for several months, at least.
Crucial clues to what happened, however, could be just a few yards away.
To figure out what happened, the structural engineer hired to look into the collapse is examining its sister building, Champlain Towers North, which is still standing.
That person is engineering expert Allyn Kilsheimer, who is working for the City of Surfside.
His team is taking concrete core samples and using ground penetrating radar to help investigate why the south tower fell.
“We’re looking for a trigger in the south tower,” Kilsheimer said. “The building sat there for 40 years.”
So far, Kilsheimer hasn’t found anything to make him worry about the north tower, which some residents have voluntarily evacuated.
“The north building is similar, but not the same building as the south building,” he said.
He will compare the data he is collecting there with what he finds in the debris pile at the south tower site to help make a final determination.
“The north building is an interim science lab for us,” Kilsheimer said. “Everything we’ve done so far has been a positive result.”
Kilsheimer said he does not have any theories yet but is working on some possible causes of the collapse.
“It may not be one trigger, it may be multiple triggers,” he said. “There’s no way to know at this point.”