Miami condo collapse survivor says it’s a ‘miracle’ he escaped

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A survivor of the Florida condominium collapse that occurred last Thursday is speaking out about his near-death experience.

Steve Rosenthal was rescued from the Champlain Towers South condo shortly after the building disintegrated and said it was a “miracle” that he was able to escape.

Rosenthal mentioned it was 1:30 am on Thursday and he heard a loud thunder sound. The Florida resident added he thought it was a dream and then felt the room starting to shake. 

“…dust starts falling from the ceiling, hitting my face,” Rosenthal told “The Faulkner Focus.” “I’m going, OK. It’s an earthquake, one in ten thousand year earthquake that’s hitting Florida.”

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The Surfside survivor continued to say he immediately jumped out of bed and ran to the balcony to check out the damages the “earthquake” has done to the city. 

“I run to the front door…I can’t see anything. All dust. Toxic dust just slams on me right into the bedroom, powers out…” he told host Harris Faulkner. 

Rosenthal said after he quickly packed a bag with clothes, he opened the hallway door again and witnessed the building collapsing. He recalled hearing his neighbors screaming for help, and later discovered they died in the tragic incident. 

“…there was just no way [out]. I couldn’t go down the fire escape or the steps…the hallway was impassable,” Rosenthal told Faulkner. “All you could do is go to the balcony and wait for your rescue.”

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The 20-year Champlain Towers resident added he was aware that the building required some work and needed to be upgraded, but had no idea the severity of the situation. 

Meanwhile, the Surfside survivor is the first individual to sue the Champlain Towers and mentioned he suffered from bruises on his arms while attempting to escape the crumbling building. 

At least 11 people have died and more than 150 are still unaccounted for after the building collapsed in Surfside. 

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“Another person that I know happened to just get out a minute before that. There are a few people that survived just by chance and just by luck,” Rosenthal concluded. “If you were sleeping, if you weren’t up, you’re gone.”


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