Sobering body cam footage shows first responders after Surfside building collapse: 'The whole thing came down'

Sobering body cam footage shows first responders after Surfside building collapse: 'The whole thing came down'

The need for strictly enforced building maintenance codes is underscored by the tragic June 24 collapse of the Champlain Tower South, a condo building in Surfside, Florida near Miami. The death toll from that tragedy, according to Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, reached 98. And body cam video, newly released body by Surfside officials, shows the chaos that first responders witnessed when they arrived on the scene on June 24.

The 18-minute video has been posted by Law & Crime. In the video, first responders are seen talking to a Champlain Tower survivor, who explains, "I'm in Penthouse 12, which is all the way at the top…. I'm on my phone, on YouTube, and I hear something fall…. All of a sudden, I hear — like it's a fucking jet right through the front of my fucking balcony. So, I get up, and I'm like, 'Was that a fucking plane?' Because there's planes that come by here."

The survivor describes the collapse, telling the first responders, "The whole fucking thing came down."

Later in the video, first responders are heard saying that "traffic and pedestrians" need to be kept "just outside of a little perimeter."

The video also shows first responders talking to a Champlain Towers security guard, who describes what she had observed and explains, "I heard a boom boom…. This never happened. I didn't think we had earthquakes…. I don't even know what this was. I don't know what's going on…. Honest to God, I thought it was an elevator because alarms went off."

Law & Crime's Marisa Sarnoff says of the video, "The confusion among the first responders, and the people gathered outside the building, is palpable — the combination of darkness dust, and the shocking nature of the collapse itself making it difficult to clearly comprehend what happened that night in Florida."

Body camera videos show the moments first responders arrived at the scene of the deadly condo building collapse in Surfside, Fla.» Subscribe to NBC News: htt...


Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ }}

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.