Surviving condo residents recount horrifying moment building collapsed

Southeast

SURFSIDE, Fla. (NewsNation Now) — Residents who made it out of the partially-collapsed condominium building in Surfside, Florida are grateful but concerned about what comes next.

Justin Willis was watching television late Wednesday night when he said he heard three loud bangs. His parents were sleeping in the next room.

“It felt like a plane went right over our heads and the building,” he said. “The chandelier started to sway here and the walls kind of shook. My parents came out and said ‘What just happened?’”

They could see debris outside the window and headed for the door to get out.

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“We looked to our left, the door was caved in,” said Willis. “Then half of the hallway we could see outside out to the beach. The elevator shaft was dented in and in our front door.”

With the elevator gone, Justin, his mother, father and sister headed for the stairs — or at least what was left of them.

“Every other step is missing a step or broken, and you can start to see out the side of it. You just think I’m going to look at my feet.”

Once they made it down to the pool deck they had to climb over a couple of feet of rubble and loose tiles until they finally made it out to the beach and were able to breathe a sigh of relief.

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