911 calls released from condominium collapse
Panicked callers told responders they couldn’t see through smoke or that stairways just disappeared when half of Champlain Towers South collapsed on June 24 in Surfside, Fla. One woman escaped as far as the parking garage but couldn’t get past the rubble. She called 911 begging for someone to pull her out. Search crews shifted from rescue to recovery operations last week. The death toll stands at 97, with 14 people unaccounted for. Workers have removed over 18 million pounds of rubble, collecting personal belongings for survivors as they go.
What is being done for victims? A judge approved returning $2.4 million in repair deposits to surviving residents and victims’ families. The judge also ordered the sale of the oceanfront property, with the funds to be donated to families. Some want a memorial where the towers once stood. Others want their homes rebuilt with the money. The mayor of Surfside ordered an audit of all apartment buildings over 40 years old following reports that the condo board for Champlain Towers South ignored previous warnings of structural damage. Nearby buildings have been evacuated.
Dig deeper: Read WORLD’s coverage of the disaster.
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