SURFSIDE, Fla. - Officials in a Florida town released body camera footage Tuesday from the first police officers who responded to the collapse of a condo building that left 98 people dead.
Officers arrived just minutes after the east side of Champlain Tower South pancaked in the early morning hours of June 24.
Each video lasts about 18 minutes. Clouds of dust billow as the officers make their way past the massive wreckage. The officers can be seen calling for survivors and escorting residents away from the part of the building that was still standing.
Officials are still working to determine the cause of the collapse. Rescue workers spent about a month searching the site for remains. Debris was moved to a warehouse near Miami International Airport, where forensic specialists continue to investigate.
A judge says preserving the evidence is critical to understanding why the condominium tower collapsed and to protecting the legal rights of victims and others.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman said at a hearing Wednesday that evidence will be available to determine the cause of the collapse, as well as for lawsuits filed in the aftermath.
The 12-story condominium building in Surfside collapsed for unknown reasons, killing 98 people and leaving dozens more homeless.
Hanzman says the lawsuits will be combined into a single class action affecting everyone with claims, including renters who lost possessions.