SURFSIDE, Fla. — Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Rep. Charlie Crist say they've been able to secure $22 million in federal funding in order to conduct a "technical investigation" into the cause of the partial collapse of a South Florida condominium.
The search for bodies within the rubble of the Champlain Towers South officially ended on Friday, according to rescue crews. In total, 98 people were killed in the June 24 collapse.
The duo says the funding will allow the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to conduct an investigation to understand any sources of failure, provide recommendations to correct any shortcomings in building standards and inform building codes for similar structures.
"Over a month after the deadly collapse, our community is still in shock," said Wasserman Schultz, whose district includes Surfside, along with roughly 15 miles of coastal Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.
“While we are still in the process of mourning all those lost, we’re simultaneously trying to assess just how widespread the issue may be. In South Florida and all across the United States, there are thousands of condos just like Champlain Towers, and we simply don’t know how many could have similar structural issues."
The upcoming investigation will be only the fifth of its kind in NIST history. The department has also conducted similar investigations into the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
“The Surfside condo collapse was an unspeakable tragedy – one that I hope no other family ever has to endure,” Crist said. “We need to get the bottom of what happened and take the necessary steps to make sure this never happens again."
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