What to Know
- Police released the 911 calls from the June 24 collapse of the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside
- Two more bodies were discovered at the site, bringing the death toll to 97, officials said Wednesday
- Another 8 people remain potentially unaccounted for after the collapse
Recordings of 911 calls after an oceanfront Surfside condominium building collapsed in the middle of the night show disbelief, panic and confusion as people tried to comprehend the disaster.
"Oh my God! The whole building collapsed!" one caller told a dispatcher at the Miami-Dade Police Department, which released the recordings Wednesday from the June 24 collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside. The names of the callers were not released.
“We’ve gotta get out. Hurry up, hurry up. There’s a big explosion,” a second caller said. “There’s a lot of smoke. I can’t see anything. We gotta go. I can’t see nothing but smoke.”
The death toll from the collapse rose to 97 Wednesday, after two more bodies were found in the rubble of the collapse, officials said. Another eight people are still potentially unaccounted for.
A cause has not yet been pinpointed, although there were several previous warnings of major structural damage at the 40-year-old building.
One caller, a woman, said she saw what appeared to be a large depression near the swimming pool, which had concrete problems that investigators are looking into as they try to identify a cause.
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“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 caller 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.”
Yet another female caller said she was stuck near the building parking garage and needed help. Part of the condo remained standing after the collapse but was taken down later by a demolition crew.
“Can somebody help me get out, please? If the building comes down, it will come down on my head,” the caller said.
Release of the calls Wednesday came as a judge approved the sale of the oceanfront property, with proceeds intended to benefit victims of the deadly disaster.
At a hearing, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman ordered that the process begin to sell the site of Champlain Towers South, which could fetch $100 million to $110 million according to court records.