33-story Sydney building evacuated after cracking noises

ASSOCIATED PRESS
SYDNEY
Published 24.12.2018 11:14
Updated 24.12.2018 11:34

A 33-story apartment high-rise near central Sydney was evacuated Monday after residents reported hearing cracking noises.

More than 140 residents of the Opal Tower in Sydney's Olympic Park were forced from their homes along with occupants of nearby houses.

Train stations and roads near the building have been closed while New South Wales state fire and rescue personnel assess the structural integrity of the building. Aerial footage showed firefighters setting up tents around the building and redirecting pedestrians.

New South Wales Police said in a statement that several residents left the building in the morning after hearing "cracking noises."

The tower was completed in August and has 392 apartments, a retail area and a childcare center.

Water and gas services were shut off and the tower is being isolated from the power grid, Fire and Rescue Acting Inspector Greg Wright said.

Meriton, the operator of the neighboring building, said in an email to residents that there was "potential for the tower to collapse."

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