Demo Worker Dies From Oceanfront Building Collapse

Article Courtesy of The Miami Beach Patch
By Paul Scicchitano

Published August 6, 2018

MIAMI BEACH -- A demolition worker struck by flying debris in the July 23 collapse of a former Miami Beach oceanfront condominium, has died from his injuries, according to Miami Beach police. Forty-two-year-old Samuel Landis was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital in critical condition following the building collapse. He died Friday afternoon.

"The investigation remains active and open," Ernesto Rodriguez of the Miami Beach Police Department told Patch. "As such, no additional information is currently available."

The former oceanfront Marlborough House condominium building collapsed when a planned demolition went horribly wrong. Witnesses described hearing a thunderous crash as the high-rise building came tumbling down like a house of cards. The building was located at 5775 Collins Avenue.

"Obviously during that demolition something went terribly wrong," Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber told reporters at the time.

Police said that Landis was associated with the demolition project.


Workers from GC Construction of Miami captured the building collapse on cellphone video. GC Construction was not involved in the project but happened to be in the area at the time. Company officials gave Patch permission to include the video. It shows first responders treating Landis.


One witness who asked not to be identified told Patch that it appeared as though the construction crew was in the process of conducting a controlled demolition of the building when something went wrong.

"The building just went down," he said. "I didn't hear any explosions just the concrete breaking apart."

He added that the construction crew had been taking photos and video just prior to the collapse of the building.

Antonio and Antonia Leiva from Chile told Patch that the crash sounded like a lightening strike.

"It sounded like a storm," explained Antonia Leiva, translating for her father.

Police said that a permit had been taken out to demolish the former oceanfront condominium but that the demolition permit did not cover an implosion of the building.