911 records show panic and disbelief as Florida condo falls – .

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911 records show panic and disbelief as Florida condo falls – .


MIAMI BEACH, FLA. – Recordings of 911 calls after a Florida oceanfront condominium collapsed in the middle of the night show disbelief, panic and confusion as people tried to figure out the disaster.

” Oh my God ! The whole building collapsed! A caller told a dispatcher with the Miami-Dade Police Department, who on Wednesday released tapes of the Champlain South Towers collapse on June 24. The names of the appellants were not disclosed.

“We have to get out. Hurry up, hurry up. There is a big explosion, ”said a second caller. “There is a lot of smoke. I see nothing. We must go. I don’t see anything but smoke. “

At least 97 people died in the collapse, and a handful more are still missing. A cause has yet to be identified, although there have been several previous warnings of major structural damage to the 40-year-old building at Surfside.

One person who called 911, a woman, said she saw what appeared to be a large depression near the pool, which presented concrete issues investigators are looking into as they attempt to identify a cause.

“I woke up because I heard noise. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I looked outside and saw the patio sink down. The pool started to sink, ”said the appellant. “There are many parts of the building that collapsed. The building has just fallen into a pit. There will be many, many deaths. “

Another person who called said they were stuck near the building parking lot and needed help. Part of the condo remained standing after the collapse, but was later dismantled by a demolition crew.

“Can someone help me out, please?” If the building collapses it will fall on my head, ”the appellant said.

The release of the appeals came on Wednesday as a judge approved the sale of the beachfront property, with the proceeds going to victims of the deadly disaster.

In a hearing, Miami-Dade circuit judge Michael Hanzman ordered the start of the sale of the Champlain Towers South site, which could bring in $ 100 million to $ 110 million according to court records.

The court-appointed receiver responsible for the finances of the condominium, attorney Michael Goldberg, said the judge wanted the sale to proceed quickly.

“He wants us to start exploring a potential sale,” Goldberg said of the judge in an email. “He said he wanted the land to be sold and the profits to go directly to the victims as soon as possible. “

Goldberg said the move doesn’t necessarily prevent a buyer from turning at least part of the site into a memorial, as some people have advocated. Other survivors want the structure to be rebuilt so that they can return to it.

Hanzman’s decision came as part of a series of lawsuits filed in the wake of the collapse. The judge expedited the lawsuits and allowed Goldberg to begin paying the Champlain Tours insurance money to victims and families.

The judge also approved the return of $ 2.4 million in deposits that some Champlain condo owners had already made for an appraisal to pay $ 15 million in planned major repairs.

In nearby Miami Beach, residents of an 82-year-old two-story building have been ordered to evacuate due to deteriorating concrete. The city ordered the evacuation of Devon apartments on Monday and is giving residents until next Monday to vacate the building, city spokeswoman Melissa Berthier said in an email on Wednesday.

The building is approximately 3 kilometers from the Champlain South towers.

After the collapse, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava ordered an audit of all buildings over 40 years old. A condominium near North Miami Beach was also evacuated for security reasons shortly after this audit began.

The collapse left county officials grappling with concerns over older residential buildings.

Manny J. Vadillo, a lawyer who represents the owners of the Devon Apartments, told WTVJ they have been working “diligently” with the city since they decided in May to demolish the building by December.

He said they had started “to evacuate the building in an orderly fashion,” adding that 14 people remained inside. He said the owners were helping residents move out.

“My clients are extremely security sensitive and in fact have visited the property several times since last week to speak with tenants when communications started with the city to ensure tenants are not taken by surprise Vadillo said. “Some tenants have been there for many years. “

Resident Esmart Romero told WSVN he was not surprised the city found the building unsafe.

“If you look at the condition of this apartment, it’s not good,” Romero said. ” In for money. “

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Anderson reported from St. Petersburg and Frisaro from Fort Lauderdale. Associated Press editors Bobby Caina Calvan in Orlando, David Fischer and Kelli Kennedy in Miami, and RJ Rico in Atlanta contributed to this report.

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