Engineer: Partial condo collapse in Florida a "rare event"

As an investigation into the partial collapse of a condo in South Florida continues, a structural engineer with the City of Phoenix is providing insight on modern building codes, and what could have gone wrong.

Related: Miami-area condo collapse: 1 dead, 99 missing, 102 accounted for

The incident occurred around 1:30 a.m. (local time) Thursday. According to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, more than 80 units responded to the collapse. As of midday on June 24, authorities in the area say nearly 100 people were still unaccounted for, raising fears that the death toll could climb sharply.

Engineer: Partial collapse a "tragic, but rare event"

John-Jozef Proczka, who is a structural plans engineer for the City of Phoenix, says what happened in Florida is a tragic, but rare event.

"It's very rare for a structure this size to collapse in the United States. It is very rare," said Proczka.

Proczka also detailed what would happen in a building collapsed in Phoenix.

"The process of getting forensic engineers involved and structural engineers involved, and people to study the cause of the collapse to better understand, see if other structures in the area are possibly at risk for similar type of scenario,: said Proczka.

Building codes are regularly updated

Proczka says the city gets a whole new set of building codes about every eight years.

"And then, we do incremental adoptions sometimes between that, usually at the four year mark in between," said Proczka.

Proczka says it's hard to know what exactly happened to cause such a collapse, but it looks like there was a failure somewhere lower in the building. He also said new building codes don't have much impact on older, existing buildings unless changes are being made.

"There's various possibilities that could have occurred, and we really don't have the mandate to get involved in existing buildings, probably rightfully so until somebody starts changing something," said Proczka.

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