Testimonios desgarradores salen a la luz tras el derrumbe de un edificio en el sur de la florida que ha hecho que muchos residentes de casas y apartamentos en el resto del país se cuestionen si las construcciones donde viven son seguras.
5 Jul 2021 – 12:00 AM EDT
Presiona aquí para reaccionar
of "aqui y ahora."
>> hurry up.hurry up.
>> the collapse of a building insouth florida has made many
residents of homes andapartments throughout the
country question whether thestructures in which they live
are safe.>> i am worried, especially
about this problem here withthese pipes.
>> material is wearing out,structural damage, as well as
compliance with codes, are someof the things that many people
are concerned about.>> i began remembering 911.
>> in the middle of rubble, themoving stories of survivors, and
some mysterious calls.>> anybody over there?
>> she was calling her daughter.>> and decisions that/ at th --
that, at the last minute,changed the destinies of several
families.>> if we would have known, we
would have not gone to theapartment.
>> after announcements ofinvestigations in several parts
of the country, the mission isto prevent the next tragedy.
at the same time, many peopleare asking themselves, are we
safe?>> as the identification of
fatal victims in surfside,theres also questions as to
what may have caused thistragedy.
>> good evening and welcome to"aqui y ahora."
angie sandoval tells us abouthow, in some locations, a phone
call has save the lives, and atother times, its unleashed a
mystery.>> there are smiles that bring
happiness t a = -- to a soul.like estellas.
shes the daughter of afirefighter and her remains were
found in the rubble last friday.>> it is a beautiful morning and
i am going to go walking.>> also, there are people who
discover beauty in the smallestthings in life.
>> look at this beautiful, sunnyday.
>> this is what miriam and arniewere like.
>> they were a couple that lovedeveryone.
they loved everyone.they helped everyone.
>> nelson and arnie met in the 1970s in miami beach.
he was a teenage athlete.throughout time, their
friendship grew.the synagogue was part of their
lives, and that is where he fellin love with miriam, who had
immigrated from cuba in the1960s.
>> they loved each other.they were always together.
they never went anywhere withoutthe other.
>> 20 years ago, the couple,with children from previous
marriages, got married.they began a new life.
they spent long afternoons on abalcony, and spent a lot of time
with their family.like the time that their
children and grandchildrensurprised them during the
pandemic with a streetcelebration.
but on june 24.>> anybody over there?
>> this dreamlife, like thatof the other residents here,
came to an end.>> yeah.
>> a neighbor was in the dark onthe ninth floor of a building
that she said was shaking asthough it were in an earthquake.
>> lets take the stairs, butwait.
>> the 59-year-old woman calledher brother, but because he did
not answer, she left him amessage as to what was
happening.>> oh my god.
>> the building was crumblingunder her feet.
>> what the hell?>> oh my god.
yanni.the whole place is moving.
>> the stampede for theemergency exit included ray.
>> we saw that everything hadcollapsed.
>> at that moment, as well asrisa rodriguez, recorded what
they thought would be their lastmessages.
>> my god, this building isgoing to fall down.
dear god.>> they both managed to escape
unharmed.but when the sun rose.
>> it began.when i saw the building, i knew
he lived in the third floor.>> the friends and family
members of miriam and artie werein agony because they did not
know if the couple had made itout alive.
but that wasnt the worst.>> i was calling the daughter
constantly.>> a day after the disaster, the
family started getting strangephone calls from the couples
landline.>> but all we heard was static.
we could not hear anything else.>> when they returned the phone
calls, the family also heardstatic.
this happened over 12 times,until communications stopped
last monday.>> you think, well, maybe.
maybe they are still alive.>> although some people have
survived quite awhile underrubble.
>> its a miracle.its honestly a miracle.
>> in ecuador, for example,pablo lived to tell the tale.
he himself helped in his rescue.>> this was my window, lets
say.because through that, they were
able to find me.>> on april 16, 2016, a strong
earthquake shook an ecuadorianprovince.
he had been buried for two daysunder six floors of cement.
he found his cell phone andasked for help.
>> i called five or sixdifferent numbers until somebody
answered.>> according to him, he was able
to guide firefighters to hislocation.
[applause]>> he says the images of his
rescue still move him.>> i felt a sense of joy that
was infinite.i raised my arms to the heavens,
thanking god.>> in the case of an earthquake,
cell phones are more effectivethan landlines.
but in the surfside collapse,people were wondering what was
the origin of the phone callscoming from the couples
landline?>> there could be 100 lines
here.>> this specialist has some
hypotheses.>> one of the things i think
happened when the buildingcollapsed was that there was
like, an electric short circuitwith other cables from other
lines.i imagine that those calls were
not coming from that number.>> the engineer, who has studied
the impact of disasters likeearthquakes, collapses, and
fires in california, addsanother possibility.
>> if a telephone is damaged, inthis case, the building
collapses on it and presses somebuttons, that could cause the
telephone to call continuously.>> in surfside, the authorities
say they examined the origin ofthese calls, but the first day
they had to suspended rescueoperations.
>> we did hear audible sounds,and they were searching for a
female voice is what we heardfor several hours, and
eventually we did not hear avoice anymore.
>> it is a very sad thing.there are many people who are
with god now.>> as days pass, the hope of
finding survivors diminished,even among the most optimistic.
>> no, i wont see him again.but i thank him for what he did
for me.>> for family and friends of the
victims, what remains is thelegacy of their loved ones.
knowing that, for instance,young stella may have died in
peace and her mothers arms.in the case of miriam, in
addition to a full life, sheleft an example that every day
should be lived as though itwere your last.
>> when we return, a last minutedecision saved their lives.
>> he asked me, can i stay withsandy, and in my head i said yes
but the words that came out ofmy mouth were no.>> some arrived on june 23 for
the building collapse.others made a decision that
saved their lives.juan carlos aguiar tells us the
story of those who unwittinglyended up defying fate.
♪>> a look with nostalgia and
pain gets lost in the heavens.>> we want to describe a
marvelous man, and anexceptional father, there are no
words.say what manny was like.
>> for 10 years, she lived inapartment 801 in the south
tower.>> the most beautiful memories a
mother can have.the births of my two children,
birthdays, baptisms.>> she shared this life with men
well -- with manuel, herhusband, who remained in the
space they built together asfamily.
>> its been 3.5 years since istopped living in champlain
towers.>> a few meters from the
apartment was apartment 803.marked by destiny.
they slept there that night withtheir daughter, sophia, age six.
>> if we had known, we wouldhave not gone to the apartment.
>> nicholas fernandez is the sonof roderigo.
who lent the apartment so hecould spend a day on the beach.
>> they are from argentina andspent the last two months in
south florida, fleeing thecoronavirus threat in their
country.>> they were with us 24/7.
would get up, have breakfastwith them, go out.
>> the previous sunday, bothfamilies celebrated a very
special day in that apartment.>> that was sunday, fathers
day.we all shared a meal together.
and this happened a few dayslater.
>> they say coincidences do notexist.
that same fathers day was thelast day she was with her
children and her ex-husbandmanuel.
>> we were celebrating andthanking the wonderful work he
had done with the children.>> two floors above that on the
10th floor, eric, a brazilian,had turned miami into his home.
>> that was my home.>> many people lived in the 12
floors that partially collapsed.others were there temporarily.
>> there were many children,friends, acquaintances,
children, parents who werethere.
>> with the passing of the hoursand days, there have been
stories of people who survivedthanks to a twist of fate that
prevented them from being in theapartments that collapsed in a
matter of seconds.on wednesday, june 23, manny, as
his friends called him, was withhis 10-year-old son.
>> he was training.they were playing baseball at a
park.its very close to his
apartment.>> when night fell, manuel saw
something he did.>> he asked, can i keep santi?
and in my head i said yes, butthe words that came out of my
mouth were no.i dont know why.
>> how can you explain what yousaid that night?
>> for me, its a miracle.its a miracle, without a doubt.
we are devout people.>> hours before the tragedy,
eric watched the colombia andbrazil match on tv with his
girlfriend.when he was going back to his
apartment, his girlfriendstopped him.
>> i did not ask him to stay, itold him, you are not going
anywhere.>> when the building collapsed,
eric and fernanda were asleep.two hours later she woke up and
found on her cell phone amessage.
>> i called her and asked,whats going on?
she said, are you alive?i said, what do you mean?
the building collapsed.people are dead.
>> the news was just coming outand eric understood that, with
fernanda, they had defied fate.>> he would have been there.
i would have been one of thedesperate families.
god gave eric another chance.>> while fernanda prevented eric
from going to the building,nicholas fernandezs father left
the collapsed structure thanksto a call he got from his mother
four hours before the disaster.>> thats what saved his life.
otherwise we would be lookingfor our father, too.
>> that night, one of ericssisters had a wedding near the
apartment.as her father changed his plans
to wait for her.>> my father, who was there
until 9:00 p.m., and thishappens at 1:30 in the morning.
>> your fathers being aliveafter the tragedy, could that be
interpreted as a miracle?>> definitely.
i dont know what else to callit.
>> fernandez was among the firstto return to what remained of
the south tower that collapsedto find a scene he never would
have imagined.>> i saw in my mind whewre our
apartment was, and now it wasjust air.
>> when he saw his father again,he embraced him in a way he had
never embraced him in hisprevious 30 years.
>> i squeezed him so hard, ialmost broke him.
we must never stop expressingeverything we feel, because we
never know.>> it is a similar feeling that
adriana has when she sees herchildren and thinks that they
spent every two weeks in thatbuilding.
>> manny made sure that hislegacy would not die in the
heart and mind of these twoyoung ones.
>> manuels body was one of thefirst covered from the rubble.
>> we can have a funeral forhim.
my children can say goodbye.we know he is in peace.
he can rest in peace.>> a few people had the luck of
not being in the building theday or time that it collapsed.
some call it fate.but now, looking at the ruins of
the shame -- of the champlaintowers, they prefer to call it a
miracle.>> when we return, the tragedy
was very close to them.residents talk about their fears
and what awaits them.>> these are goes to buildings.
tonight on a special editionyou dont see anybody.ision>> many families here have
to face a complicated decision,to remain or evacuate.
tifani roberts spoke withsurvivors and neighbors in the
area who told her what theyexperienced the morning of the
tragedy, and also what keepsthem up at night.
>> for a decade, janet rodriguezhas cared for the elderly.
>> each one of the patients ihave had has told me a different
story.and i remember my grandmother.
>> this is 2018.mrs. rodriguez again working in
surfside.the woman that she was with
lived on the 9th floor of thesouth champlain tower.
twice a week she spent the nightin the adjacent room.
>> i was half-asleep, halfawake.
we sleep in the room next toher.
>> the morning of june 24,rodriguez woke up.
>> when i felt it, i thought itwas the ocean, really.
>> now we know, seven secondselapsed between the collapse of
one part of the building, andthe other.
>> she got up, she asked whathappened.
i said i didnt know.i was getting a knock on the
door from a neighbor.i thought it was an earthquake
or strong waves.>> she went to the hallway and
what she saw surprised her.>> elevators had fallen.
>> as part of her job as ahealth care worker, rodriguez
and the patients family have anemergency plan.
>> they bring us together andtell us who we need to call.
>> first 911, and then one ofthe womans daughters.
>> she said, half your buildingcollapsed.
she said go to the living room,wait there to be rescued.
>> in the middle of the chaos,she ignored the calls for
evacuation.she and her patient waited in
the living room to be rescued,not knowing the nightmare that
awaited them.close to there, teresa
rodriguez, 87, lives.her granddaughter was visiting.
>> i was in miami for the summervisiting my grandmother.
>> alexandra went to wake up hergrandmother she felt the ground
shake.they were on the second floor of
the building across.>> i went to the balcony and
everything was covered in dustand rubble.
>> there was a big noise.people were screaming.
it looked like the world hadended.
>> at the same time in thecollapsed building, mrs.
rodriguez entered into a panic.>> there was nobody.
there was nobody.i was scared.
i told my daughter, everyone hasleft.
>> she was on her cell phone.did you consider evacuating the
building with the rest of yourneighbors?
>> no, because i was gettingorders from her daughter.
>> the womans daughter was nowin surfside and talking to
rescue workers.in the middle of the darkness,
they used their flashlights toshow where they were.
>> we were shining a light.>> she said that at one point,
the roles between her and herpatient flipped.
>> she gave me a lot of hersecurity.
she said no, we will be fine.i could tell she was nervous,
but actually she was reallycalm.
>> she was worried and thinkingabout the twin towers in new
york.>> i was thinking of 9/11 and i
was praying and praying.but i never thought about going
down alone.>> a minute can feel like an
eternity.how long were you there?
>> 2.5 hours.>> she says they both began
praying following each of theirtraditions.
her patient, a jewish woman, andshe, a honduran, were praying at
the same time.>> i was praying the our father,
and she was praying anotherprayer.
i was desperate, but i couldhear her.
>> rodriguez says that she ranout of prayers and started to
improvise.>> i was saying, dear god, i
promise that -- i will promiseyou whatever, but please do not
allow this building to collapse.dont let it fall, let it stand.
>> before seeing them, she saidshe heard the steps of
firefighters.>> when we saw them, it was
marvelous.>> the mechanical arm did not
make it to the 9th floor.she remembers they had to go
down several floors.>> they were telling me, dont
look to the side.>> they were finally put in a
basket that transported them tothe ground.
>> i said, maam, were going toclose our eyes.
i said, theyre already closed.i told them they would be safe
in couple minutes a.>> they wanted to take me to the
hospital but i said no tme.i -- not me.
i wanted to go home where myhusband was.
>> rodriguez recalls thereaction of her patients
daughter.>> the daughter embraced me and
said thank you.she hugged me very hard.
>> while the rescue operationscontinued, the residents of the
neighboring buildings, amongthem, teresa rodriguez, had to
face a decision.although their building is
intact, many neighbors havedecided to leave.
>> do you sleep well at night?>> i have to take sleeping
>> the doctor gives them to meso i can relax.
>> why have you not left?>> because this is my land that
i am living on.this is why i dont want to
leave.this is a ghost building.
you dont see anybody.>> teresa, who has lived in
surfside since 2001, became awidow four years ago.
>> we loved each other verymuch.
we were married 48 years, andwere boyfriend and girlfriend
for three years.we had two children and five
grandchildren.>> to leave that apartment.
>> is to leave behind a part ofmy life.
>> after two days, she returnedto her job.
she lost her car which was inthe parking lot of the building,
but thats the least of it.>> when i saw empty apartments,
i thought, those with serialthings dont mean anything.
what matters is life.>> after a break, who needs to
enforce construction codes.>> cities get older, and part of
the city gets renovated.♪
>> while here in south floridainvestigations began, in the
rest of the country, thistragedy has unleashed concerns.
residents of apartments andhomes wants to make sure the
structures are safe.carmen escobosa from california
tells us how there is a newmovement to make sure that
building codes are followed.>> the collapse of the building
in south florida was heard inevery corner of this country and
beyond.the pain of the victims became a
feeling that traversed borders.>> bad.
bad.that depressed me.
it hurts me.it hurts me, this situation
does.>> and others reflected on the
conditions of their own homes.>> my sister-in-law said get out
of the building, find a place tolive, not here.
>> they say that if a structurelike the champlain towers
collapsed, what might theyexpect?
>> i am worried, especially,this problem with these pipes.
because i know this is going toburst.
this is about to burst.>> elsa deals not only with
piping issues, but with gas.>> i have been smelling gas for
months.somebody came and said that
there is gas.>> and then there are leaks.
>> when it rains, the watercomes down the walls.
and after it stops raining, itstinks.
it smells funny in the wall andinside the house.
>> ivan says shes not the onlyone.
>> there are hundreds of peoplewho are affected.
but if we count the peopleaffected it in the city, we are
talking about thousands.>> the conditions he says are
terrible.>> we need to see what is
happening in these buildings,because we want to make sure
tenants are safe.>> the building is like a car,
or like human beings.>> a forensic and structural
engineer says that all buildingsneed proper maintenance.
>> they are not perfectstructures.
>> any problem that is not dealtwith will worsen.
>> that is apparently whathappened in the florida
building, and could happen inother buildings around the
country.every state and every city has
its own building codes.>> here in florida, what we see
most is rules regarding wind andrules regarding the ground.
the ground underneath florida isvery soft.
it does not resist very much,especially not tall structures.
>> with sea air and sand, thingsbecome more complicated.
in california, developers havedifferent challenges, as jose
from uc san diego tells us.>> cities get older and part of
the city gets renovated, butanother part of the city remains
with no links that are 50, 60,even 100 years old.
>> and in an area that is knownfor seismic events, building
codes are updated frequently.victor rena gomez is worried her
building is 100 years old.she can see downtown los
angeles.>> it survived a 7.4 earthquake.
there was another one last weekthat was 4.0.
we ran from the 4th floor.someone else said if theres
another big earthquake, it isnot going to make it.
>> in the city of california,what is the most complicated
zone?>> the most complicated zone in
california is definitely losangeles.
>> san franciscos faults arewell-define, -- well-defined,
but not in los angeles.there are always surprises
there.>> we have soft earth there, and
every now and then we find a newfault, and there are many of
them.>> we visited a residential zone
in san diego,, when you.>>--san diego, california.
>> this area has always beenproblematic.
90% have problems withfoundations.
>> for years, she has been areal estate agent.
this area continues to surpriseher.
we asked to enter to documentthe damage, but we were not
allowed to.>> look.
look at all the tracks on thestreet.
we dont need to enter a home soyou can see what the problem is.
>> this inspection report showssome deficiencies in one of the
buildings here.deteriorated structures exist
everywhere.two of the most well-known are
432 park avenue in manhattan,which, at the time of its
opening, was the tallest in theworld.
jennifer lopez sold herapartment in the 96th floor a
year after buying it.and the millennium tower in san
francisco, california, known nowas a leaning tower.
for its occupants and thosearound them, its a nightmare.
>> as engineers, we can createa perfect design.
even so, we have no control overthe construction.
>> he says that sometimes planscan be interpreted differently,
and engineers are not alwayspresent to verify the process or
the quality of the materialsthat are used in each
construction.>> that is why a quality control
program during construction isvery important.
>> and its important as well,he says, to keep in mind the
challenges that every region inthe country has.
>> when we go to washingtonstate or maine or the dakotas,
we have to keep into account thesnow.
>> it can be very heavy andcause a collapse.
texas has another issue.>> there are subterranean holes.
>> south carolina has its ownchallenges.
>> there is an area nearcharleston which is a seismic
zone, almost like california andin that area.
theres a big probability of alarge hurricane.
>> and so on.the important thing, experts
say, is to plan according to theterrain, follow building codes
and rules, maintain and updateproperties, and remember that in
the end, be it through anassociation or directly.
>> that financial responsibilitybelongs to the owners.
>> it will always be moreeffective and economical to deal
with these small issues whenthey present themselves.
are we safe?>> yes.
we will have damages in manybuildings and homes.
there may be some collapses,there may be some loss of
life, but generally we areall right.
>> victorina gomez and elsa wantanswers now.
>> i am worried because i livealone.
i have to be aware of all this.>> incredible, these stories.
and according to true reportsfrom the department of
transportation in florida, therubble has been taken to a
warehouse where it will becatalogued.
many think that this will beevidence for the criminal and
civil suits that are being filedas a result of this tragedy.
>> there have always been --already been several suits from
survivors and family members ofvictims.
the consequences of this tragedywill be felt for many years.
>> when we return, the passionof soccer from a divided heart.
>> we are americans.this country has given us so
much.aqui y ahora>> for an athlete to
eams jersey represents pride inhis country.
but what happens when you feelspecked and admiration for the
-- feel respect and admirationfor the country of his parents
or grandparents?we hear how some athletes come
to a tournament with a dividedheart.
>> the family, we made sure ourchildren were better than we
work, they had better jobs.>> this is father of efrain
alvarez, born in the unitedstates, but playing for the
mexican team.>> heres efrain alvarez.
hes with the galaxy heretonight.
>> my wife says to play fiveminutes, play at 100%.
i say play at 200%.>> just try to represent the
best you can.kids have a chance to make it
happen.luckily i got an opportunity and
made it happen.>> families who left the country
where they were born -- butmaintains an affection for a
place that was once completelyforeign.
>> for me, this is where mychildren grew up.
>> this home is what we came tostruggle for.
♪>> with sebastian saucedo, it
was the same thing.his parents packed their bags
and left home behind for theamerican dream.
>> here we have a league wherewere on the same team, so weve
raised trophies together.hes given his child good
values.hes a hard worker, very humble.
he is a great person.he does a lot for the community
here too.>> david marino, friend of the
saucedos, has witnessed the hardwork of this family.
>> im super thankful for whatmy family did for me, because
they never gave up on knowingthat i always wanted to play
soccer.my dad would always take me out
to the park and teach me thethings, teach me something
different.>> saucedo is going to strike.
there it is.goal!
>> sebastian saucedo, who playsfor pumas and leaga mx, but
place for the american nationalteam.
>> he was born in california buthis parents immigrated to salt
lake city, utah.we saw him grew up at a very
young age.>> community is very important.
they came searching for a betterlife, and many achieve it with a
lot of hard work.>> mexico is the second largest
country in the world -- thecountry in the world with the
second largest number of grants-- of migrants.
>> we, wherever he plays, wewill support him.
be that mexico, be that theunited states.
in the end, the decision is his.>> when you talk about the
emotion of the decision, we wantto take some of that emotion out
of it.>> mexico stopped being the
first option for mexicanamericans.
five players in the lastpre-olympic trials decided to
play for the american team.among them, sebastian saucedo,
who felt he would turn his backto the united states if he
decided to play for mexico.>> as a player and a
representative of the unitedstates national team, we try to
be more professional on thattopic.
speak english, dont disrespectamericans on our team.
because obviously we want toinvolve the entire team.
we want to be united.and the truth is that, yes, you
know this, latinos are veryunited as a group, and we need
to do that here too to form ahealthy, fun group.
we want the languages to unite.>> that is when the question was
raised.would -- where would they play?
>> we feel very american becausethis is the country where we
are, this is the country thathas given us so much, offered us
so much.we need to give back to this
country something of ourselves.i think sebastian feels this
way, and that is why he decidedto play for the american
national team.>> we grew up from nothing.
back in the day my dad used tosell jewelry, he used to sell
things.for them to be able to buy me
soccer cleats.i think it is always a blessing
to step on the field here as apro player knowing your family
is supporting you.>> they are two stories.
>> weve got two wonderfulcountries that are interested in
these qualities and this go around, ehs -- hes going to go
with mexico.>> i feel like my little brother
and my cousin, and here was like, you can see like, a little
bridge.it is like a goal, you see?
we used to play there in thesand.
>> some people come to see himand they cheer when he makes a
goal.so yeah, we feel very happy.
and also, like, when he wouldmake a mistake, we would yell at
him.>> both players are comfortable,
even though they made differentdecisions.
they feel proud of the roots,the country where they were
born, and the country they willrepresent.
>> you work hard, you know?the exact words our work your
ass off.he tells me day by day youre
going to get better, and you aregoing to see yourself, that you
can do better for yourself.that is something that he helped
me.>> i am very happy to be here
representing my country.while obviously im latino with
mexican parents, but its acountry that opened its doors to
me from a young age and open itsdoors to my parents as well.
♪>> definitely there is a lot of
expectation around the gold cup.>> thats right.
you will be able to see all 31matches on univision, as well as
prede tv.that brings us to the end of
this edition.we will be off the air until
august 8.we will be back then, because we
will be broadcasting the soccermatches until that.
>> until next time, thank youvery much for your preference.