Miami ( June 29, 2021) – A Statement from Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle regarding the Champlain Towers Condominium.
“Few words can describe the shock and horror that the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium building has evoked in all of us.
The morning that this tragic event occurred, I deployed senior prosecutors to the disaster site to collaborate with the engineers and other investigators to assist as needed. I also sent victim specialists to the site in order to be available around the clock to help the grieving friends and family members with all necessary support.
Since that time, I have visited the scene multiple times and we have continued to provide whatever help we can. Each time I have gone, I have been overwhelmed by the heroics of the first responders who have labored tirelessly to save lives.
I know from personally speaking with engineers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology that their investigation to determine exactly how and why the building collapsed will take a long time. It is painstaking and complicated work. I will not do anything to jeopardize their investigative findings which will hopefully prevent future tragedies like this from happening.
However, this is a matter of extreme public importance, and as the State Attorney elected to keep this community safe, I will not wait. My office has a long tradition of presenting more than just criminal cases to the Grand Jury. Our Grand Juries have also served as a cross-section of the community to evaluate matters of health and public safety. For example, in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, the Grand Jury issu ed a report that helped lead to better building codes. The Grand Jury has also made recommendations regarding the environmental integrity of Biscayne Bay, the financial survival of Jackson Memorial Public Hospital, and the safety of our public housing communities. To that end, I plan to request that our Grand Jury look at what steps we can take to safeguard our residents without jeopardizing any scientific, public safety, or potential criminal investigations.
Our hearts and prayers are with every victim, family member, friend and co-worker who has been affected by this tragedy. As your State Attorney, I assure you that my attorneys, staff and I are dedicated to ensuring that those who were lost will never be forgotten.”