Raysa Rodriguez, one of the survivors of the Miami building collapse, gave a chilling account of how she and a few of her neighbors escaped the building after it fell.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer read Rodriguez’s account of events on-air Tuesday. The account is from a class-action lawsuit that was filed on Rodriguez’s behalf after the deadly collapse.
Rodriguez said that something woke her up on the night of the collapse and she noticed the “building swayed like a sheet of paper.” She noticed that there was no light once she tried to turn on the bedroom lamp, and walked outside to a wall of dust.
“I couldn’t see anything outside,” Rodriguez recalled. (RELATED: UConn Pitcher Shares Terrifying Details About He And His Family Escaping Miami Condo Collapse)
She said that she tried to call her neighbor Dick and her brother Fred, and neither of them answered their phones. Rodriguez said that she knocked on several neighbor’s doors but they did not answer. In the hallway, there was a concrete column that “had pierced the hallway from floor to ceiling,” and the elevator doors were gone and the shafts were exposed.
“I screamed in horror,” Rodriguez said. When she screamed, a lady heard her voice and started begging for help but Rodriguez could not see her. Rodriguez then heard a knock on her door and when she answered, saw her neighbor, her ten-year-old son and their puppy.
“We went to the balcony, first responders were arriving,” she said. “I knew we needed to get out. But I thought the stairs had collapsed and that waiting for the fire truck was our only escape.”
Her brother Fred then called back and a firefighter got on the line and told her she needed to find a way out. The group tried to escape through the stairwell and stopped to help Ada, an 80-year-old woman in another apartment.
“The stairs have disconnected from the wall,” Rodriguez described. “We could see rubble.”
Eventually, the group escaped through a balcony on the second floor.