A brand new 30-floor high apartment tower close to the center of Sydney was completely evacuated today after residents had heard ‘loud noises’ and cracks started appearing.
"It sounded like something was snapping," said residents to police who have sealed off the environment of the tower.
The hundreds of Opal Tower residents in Sydney Olympic Park had to leave their homes and offices together with the residents of nearby buildings.
Nearby train stations were closed as well as certain roads leading to the neighborhood. Police, fire brigades and rescue workers are now investigating the tower.
All water, gas and electricity pipes are closed and the fire department monitors the movements of the building with special equipment.
A resident of the apartment complex told Australian Nine News that he heard a loud bang. "As if something snapped." Another resident said that the building between the twelfth and thirteenth floors is showing considerable cracks. "I sure am worried. A few days ago the doors suddenly looked different. They did not close properly anymore. And if it blows very hard, then you feel the building moving."
According to the Australian police, some doors in the building had to be removed to 'liberate' people.
Some residents left the apartment complex this morning because they did not trust the whole thing. After several signs, the emergency services decided to evacuate the entire flat and nearby houses.
The tower was only fully finished in August this year. It has 392 apartments, some offices and a nursery. The building reportedly cost 165 million Australian dollars. During the evacuation, there were still about 140 people in the building.
They are taken care of in the neighborhood but probably cannot enter their apartments again before Christmas Eve.
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