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Bodycam footage shows initial Surfside condo collapse response

"I don't even know how I got out of there. It's the grace of god," one says. This was in the first moments after the collapse of the Champlain Towers South, when police first arrived at the scene.

SURFSIDE, Fla. – Bodyworn camera footage obtained by Local 10 News shows the vantage point that Surfside police officers had as they arrived at the scene of the Champlain Towers South condo collapse during those first moments in the early morning hours of June 24.

Warning: The video above may be disturbing to some.

As they were just starting to understand the enormity of the situation, one officer is heard in the video saying, “All back that way is collapsed.”

Dust was in the air, and the officers could hear people screaming.

The officers encountered residents fortunate enough to escape, who explained to cops what they saw.

“Bro, I’m in Penthouse 12, which is all the way at the top,” one says. “I’m on my phone, on YouTube, and I hear something like fall. Not a big deal, I thought it was something in the apartment. All of a sudden I hear — like it was a f------ jet.”

A security guard working at the building approached police and said, “They gotta get out of there.”

Asked by an officer what collapsed, she said “I don’t know!”

“I don’t even know how I got out of there. It was by the grace of god.”

Another part of the video shows frantic family members of residents arriving at the scene and trying to find out what was going on.

One man was seen yelling for his mother.

The Surfside condo collapse site has since been cleared after the tragedy that killed 98 people.

The video is difficult to watch, but Local 10 News felt it was important to share the vantage point of what Surfside officers experienced in those early moments.

About the Author:

Reporter Rosh Lowe has been covering news for nearly two decades in South Florida. He joined Local 10 in 2021.