Prosecutors will ask grand jury to probe building collapse

National/World

South Florida Urban Search and Rescue team look through rubble for survivors at the partially collapsed Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, Fla., Monday, June 28, 2021. (Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald via AP)

SURFSIDE, Fla. (AP) — Prosecutors in Florida will pursue a grand jury investigation into the deadly collapse of an oceanfront condominium building, officials said Tuesday.

Miami-Dade County Daniella Levine Cava said at a news conference that she fully supports such an investigation. State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said she would bring the matter before grand jurors soon.

“I am going to urge them to take a look at it,” Rundle told the Miami Herald. “Whether they do or not, it’s completely their decision.”

Grand juries in South Florida have examined other large-scale disasters, such as the 2018 collapse of a pedestrian bridge at Florida International University, which killed six people. That investigation is ongoing.

Criminal charges in such matters are possible, such as the third-degree felony murder and manslaughter charges brought in the 1996 accidental crash of ValuJet 592 in the Evergladesthat killed 110 people.

The grand jury’s investigation would examine factors and decisions that led to Thursday’s collapse of the 12-story Champlain Towers South building in Surfside, killing at least 11 people and leaving 150 unaccounted for.

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