The following is a statement by Tom Smith, executive director, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE):
“We are saddened by the tragic news coming out of Surfside, Fla., regarding the fatal partial building collapse of a condominium early Thursday morning. Safety is the top priority of every civil engineer, and protecting public health and safety is core to our mission at ASCE. We share our deepest condolences to all of those affected by this tragedy.
“Collapses like these are fortunately highly unusual and extremely rare. However, it is imperative to identify the root cause of failures when they do occur and to ensure that proactive steps are taken to prevent future incidents. ASCE fully supports the need for continued engineering assessments to pinpoint the cause of the collapse, and we stand ready to support official investigations with technical expertise and advice available through our 150,000 civil engineer members worldwide.
“While rescue and recovery operations are underway, it is important that we support our first responders who are conducting essential rescue efforts and are operating as quickly as possible. We will also continue to keep those who have been injured and those who have not yet been accounted for in our hearts and thoughts, and we share our heartfelt sympathies to all of those affected.”