BALTIMORE (WJZ)—For the first time we are hearing the frantic 911 calls from the 26th Street collapse that sent cars tumbling onto the railroad and displaced dozens of families.
Rochelle Ritchie stays on the story and has the desperate calls for help.
At least eight 911 calls were made by homeowners and bystanders with the same goal in mind: to get help as quickly as possible.
In a matter of 11 minutes, eight 911 calls were made as people watch more than 100 years of asphalt come crashing down.
“We can actually hear it buckling,” one caller said.
“The rain has that thing sinking slowly, cars about to slide onto the railroad tracks off the bridge,” a caller said.
“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven… seven or eight parked cars that have sunk so far, there is no way they could ever be driven out,” another caller said.
The 911 callers watched helplessly as the street continued to sink lower and lower.
“Please send them there quickly because it’s not going to be nice,” a caller said.
The magnitude of what was happening was unreal to those watching it unfold.
“Thank God we didn’t park on that side of the street,” a caller said.
After several minutes, the weight of the street sidewalk , cars buckled, crashing down onto the tracks below.
“This is the saddest thing I have never seen. I’ve been here for 13 years, and I’ve never anything like this in my life. Oh my God!” a caller said.
It’s more than a week since the 26th Street collapse.
Mangled cars were pulled from the rubble, and homeowners living on the edge of the collapse are now taking shelter elsewhere.
Officials with the Department of Transportation say they are not only rebuilding 26th Street to make it stronger, but they are also looking for evidence as to how this happened in the first place.
People tell WJZ they’ve complained about the street for years and even expressed their efforts to get something done sooner to dispatchers.
“I’ve been working with the City Council trying to get this thing done, but now it’s done. It’s done,” one caller said.
“The entire street is caving in,” one caller said. “We’ve been waiting for this for a couple of years.”
The mayor tells WJZ that 26th Street was assessed a year ago, and they found nothing wrong.
Residents are being told that they will be out of their homes for at least a month.
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