- Miami-Dade Police released the 911 tapes.
- 97 bodies have been removed from the rubble to date. Eight people are still missing.
Recordings of 911 calls broadcast at the scene of a Florida condominium collapse reveal the chaos and angst sparked by the tragedy that killed at least 97 people.
A man, who said he was fleeing the building with a group of his family and others, said he heard people screaming for help from the rubble.
“There are people screaming saying they are stuck in the part of the building that collapsed,” he said on the call. “They keep on screaming. … There are people in the rubble screaming.”
Within minutes of the collapse, a passerby heard the muffled cries of a 15-year-old boy. First responders quickly saved him and his mother from the wreckage, but she did not survive.
So far 97 bodies and no other survivors have been uprooted from the ruins of Champlain Towers South, the 13-story oceanfront building that collapsed on June 24 in Surfside, a few miles north of Miami Beach. Authorities say eight people are still missing and feared dead in the rubble.
Comforting dogs brought to the Surfside site to support first responders and bereaved
Miami-Dade Police released tapes of around 20 calls on Wednesday that began arriving shortly after 1 a.m. The department did not identify the callers.
“Oh my God! The whole building collapsed! A caller told a dispatcher.
Some of the appellants were in a part of the building that did not collapse. Emergency exits for many were blocked, elevators were not working and some people were rescued from balconies. The rest of the building was demolished a few days later, fearing it might collapse in a storm.
“We have to get out. Hurry up, hurry up. There is a big explosion, ”said a caller. “There is a lot of smoke. I see nothing. We have to go. I don’t see anything but smoke.
A woman told a dispatcher that she woke up with a loud noise and saw a large depression near the pool.
“I couldn’t figure out what was going on,” she said breathlessly. “I looked outside and saw the patio collapsing. The pool started to collapse. The building entered a sinkhole. So there will be many, many deaths.
“I saw the whole building go underground.”
Some callers said they were stuck in or near the building’s parking lot, which was flooded with water.
“Can someone help me out, please?” If the building collapses, it will fall on my head, ”said a caller.
Surfside condo approved for sale whose product is intended for victims
Authorities have not determined the cause of the collapse, although several warnings of possible structural damage to the 40-year-old building have been issued in the past.
A Florida judge on Wednesday approved plans to seek a buyer for the beachfront property where the building once stood. The profits would benefit the survivors of the deadly disaster and the families of the victims. Part of the site could also be dedicated to a memorial in honor of the victims.
Contribution: The Associated Press