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Sunny Isles Beach condo tower cited after explosion injures 6

Damage shown when a 34th-floor boiler room blew up Oct. 2 atop the Château Beach Residences, a new waterfront Sunny Isles Beach condominium. Six people were injured including at least one worker in or near the boilers at the time of the explosion.
Damage shown when a 34th-floor boiler room blew up Oct. 2 atop the Château Beach Residences, a new waterfront Sunny Isles Beach condominium. Six people were injured including at least one worker in or near the boilers at the time of the explosion. Sunny Isles Beach

The developer and general contractor of the luxury Sunny Isles Beach condo tower where there was an explosion in the boiler room last week were cited for the improper “purging of [the] gas piping system.”

“The fuel was vented into a confined space with sources of ignition,” Sunny Isles Beach’s building inspector wrote in the citation issued to the Château Beach Residences Monday. “Precautions were not taken to safely purge gas piping.”

A complete report from the city’s building official about the explosion on the 34th floor that injured six people, including at least one worker and two firefighters, will not be available for about a week, said Sunny Isles Beach Mayor George “Bud” Scholl.

“We were very lucky that more people weren’t injured,” he said. “We are doing a detailed analysis to get to the bottom of this.”

The ultra-luxury condo tower where unit prices average $3 million was mostly empty at the time of the explosion. Some people in the nearby Monaco Resort were hit by falling debris.

Also on Monday, the city’s building official revoked Château Beach Residences’ temporary certificate of occupancy. That means only the general contractor, its employees and agents, and designated owner representatives are allowed on the property.

Building Official Clayton Parker wrote that because of the revocation, “the city has deemed the project unsafe for occupancy.”

Dan Whiteman, the vice chairman for Coastal Construction, the general contractor, said in a statement that the temporary certificate of occupancy had been revoked “until reconstruction of the damaged areas is completed, as is to be expected in situations such as this.”

“The explosion on Oct. 2 caused damage to the building’s boiler room, as well as water damage to a number of the units on the upper floors, as well as the elevators serving those units,” he said. “Forensic engineers continue to investigate the cause of the ignition, which remains unknown at this time. Once the cause is determined and the equipment is put back into service, we expect … the TCO will be reissued.”

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