- A woman who stood on her balcony as the Florida condo collapsed was on the phone with her husband.
- According to her sister, Cassie Stratton told her husband “the pool is caving in” seconds before the line went dead.
- Stratton, who was on the balcony on the fourth floor of the Champlain Towers, is still missing.
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A woman stood on the balcony of her fourth-floor apartment as the Florida condominium collapsed told her husband on the phone that she could see the pool “caving in” seconds before the line went dead, Sky News reported.
Cassie Straton was speaking to her husband, Michael, from their balcony on the south side of the Champlain Towers when she noticed the building started shaking in the early hours of Thursday, her older sister Ashely Dean said.
“Suddenly she says, ‘honey, the pool is caving in. The pool is sinking to the ground,'” Dean said, according to Sky News.
“He said, ‘what are you talking about?’ And she says, ‘the ground is shaking, everything’s shaking’ and then she screamed a blood-curdling scream and the line went dead,” Dean added.
Straton is among the 159 apartment residents who are still unaccounted for as of Saturday, the BBC reported.
The official death toll currently stands at four people.
“We’ve never been able to see her again because she’s in there. She’s trapped in there,” Dean told Sky News. “I have to be realistic; my baby is gone, my baby sister is gone.”
Dean said that her sister had reportedly been complaining about the state of the apartment for months.
“My sister told me about all kinds of water leaks and people on her roof with heavy equipment,” she said.
The condo was the subject of a 2015 maintenance suit by resident Matilde Fainstein, who said the building’s owners “failed to repair or negligently repaired the common elements and the outside walls of the building,” according to court documents seen by Insider.
It’s unclear if the issues indicated there affected the collapse.