HORRIFYING 911 calls from the Miami condo collapse have been released, painting a picture of a chaotic night full of panic and loss for the people of Miami Beach, Florida.
The collapse of the Champlain Towers South has claimed at least 97 lives so far as officials continue to look for bodies.
TERRIFYING PHONE CALLS
"Oh my God! The whole building collapsed!" one caller said to a dispatcher at the Miami-Dade Police Department.
"We've gotta get out. Hurry up, hurry up. There's a big explosion," a separate caller said. "There's a lot of smoke. I cant see anything. We gotta go. I cant see nothing but smoke."
The police department released audio recordings on Wednesday of the panicked phone calls, omitting the names of the callers.
Officials have not released the cause of the collapse, although several people have pointed to warnings about structural damage to the 40-year-old building.
One woman who called 911 said she could see a large depression near the building's swimming pool. Investigators are now eyeing issues with the concrete surrounding the pool as a possible cause.
"I woke up because I was hearing some noise. I couldn't understand what was happening. I looked outside and I saw the patio area sinking down. The pool area started sinking down," the woman said.
"There are many parts of the building that went down. The building just went into a sinkhole. There will be many, many people dead," she went on.
A different woman called emergency services saying she was trapped near the building's parking garage.
"Can somebody help me get out, please? If the building comes down, it will come down on my head," that woman said.
A makeshift memorial has been created near the site of the collapse. On July 7, nearly two weeks after the building's collapse, rescuers transitioned from searching for survivors to searching for bodies and remains.
JUDGE FAST TRACKS CONDO SALE
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman approved the sale of the condo on Wednesday. The proceeds are set to benefit the victims of the collapse.
The sale could produce up to $110million, the AP reported. The attorney handling the finances of the sale said Judge Hanzman wants the sale to "move quickly."
"He wants us to start exploring a potential sale," attorney Michael Goldberg said of the judge in an email. "He did say he wants the land to be sold and the proceeds to go directly to the victims as soon as possible."
Goldberg said some have suggested using a slice of the proceeds from the sale to create a memorial for the condo and the lives lost. Others want the building to be rebuilt so residents can move back in.
Repairs to the condo are estimated to cost at least $15million.
While some of the condo owners had already deposited some $2.4million toward an assessment, Judge Hanzman approved of returning those funds and allocating them toward the overall building repairs, the AP reported.
After the Champlain condo collapse, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava ordered an audit of all buildings over 40 years old.
At least two buildings nearby were ordered to evacuate as a result.
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