The Champlain South Tower condo collapse in Surfside, Florida is one of the largest building collapses ever to occur in the United States. Scenes of the building collapse have brought back haunting memories for many Americans of Ground Zero after 9/11. While efforts to rescue the more than 100 people who are still unaccounted for in Surfside are still ongoing, Champlain Towers may be the largest non-violent building collapse in our nation’s history.

Tragically, the Champlain South Tower condo collapse is just one of many building collapses that have occurred in the last 100 years in America. Below we have compiled a timeline of some of the most significant building collapses to date.

January 28, 1922: Knickerbocker Theater | Washington, D.C.

After a two-day blizzard, the weight of accumulated snow caused the Knickerbocker Theater to collapse. The collapse occurred during a viewing of a silent movie, killing 98 people and injuring 133. Faulty construction was ultimately to blame for the collapse.

1922 Knickerbocker Theatre building collapse in Washington, D.C.

March 27, 1981: Harbor Cay Condominium | Cocoa Beach, FL

The Harbor Cay Condominium Building collapsed during construction, killing 11 workers and injuring 27 others. The building collapsed as the framework was being completed. It was later determined that errors in construction and design, including thin load-bearing walls, caused the structure to collapse. Construction also failed to conform to local building laws and codes.

Two engineers, two contractors, and an architect were all later charged with negligence. 

July 17, 1981: Hyatt Regency walkway | Kansas City, MO

The deadliest, non-violent structural collapse occurred during a tea dance at the Kansas City Hyatt Regency where 1,600 guests partied. Two walkways collapsed under the weight of dancers and fell into the ground floor lobby. The collapse resulted in 114 deaths and 216 people injured.

Hyatt regency Walkway building collapse in Kansas City

April 23, 1987: L’Ambiance Plaza collapse | Bridgeport, CT

The partially erect frame of the L’Ambiance Plaza collapsed during construction, killing 28 construction workers. Construction errors caused concrete stresses on the floor slabs, which were to blame for the collapse. The collapse resulted in a $41 million settlement. 

June 29, 2003: Chicago balcony collapse | Chicago, IL

A Chicago apartment balcony collapsed during a party, killing 13 people and injuring 57. The president of LG Properties, the building owner, was later found liable and fined $108,000 for violating city building codes.

June 16, 2015: Berkeley balcony collapse | Berkeley, CA

A Berkeley apartment balcony damaged by dry rot collapsed, killing six Irish and Irish-American students, and injuring seven others. After the balcony collapse, victims filed lawsuits against companies involved in the construction and management of the building. At the end of 2017, most of the lawsuits had been settled privately.

October 12, 2019:  New Orleans Hard Rock Hotel | New Orleans, LA

During the construction of the New Orleans Hard Rock Hotel, workers complained that the structure lacked adequate support. Tragically, the structure partially collapsed while they were working. The building collapse killed three workers and injured dozens of others.

Hard Rock Hotel New Orleans Canal Street building collapse

June 24, 2021: Champlain South Tower Condo | Surfside, FL

After years of warning signs of major structural damage, the Champlain South Tower partially collapsed in the early morning hours, affecting 55 units. More than 150 residents were reported missing, while dozens of others were rescued from balconies. More than two weeks after the building collapse, recovery efforts were still underway.

Debris after Champlain South Tower building collapse in Surfside

Injured in a Building Collapse? The Ferraro Law Firm Can Fight For You

The Ferraro Law Firm knows how devastating a building collapse can be for victims and their loved ones: We’ve seen it right here in our Miami community following the Champlain South Tower condo collapse. If you or a loved one were injured, died, or suffered property damage as a result of structural failure, we can help. Our law firm has the resources necessary to investigate the cause of the building collapse and help you seek justice for your losses.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation legal consultation. You will only pay for our legal services if we obtain compensation on your behalf.