Sydney tower block evacuated as residents hear 36-storey building 'crack'

Opal Tower In Sydney Apparently Won’t Collapse But 51 Apartments Deemed Unsafe

Opal Tower In Sydney Apparently Won’t Collapse But 51 Apartments Deemed Unsafe

Fire & Rescue NSW Urban Search and Rescue officers and specialist engineers, as well as the building's designers and managers, worked late into the night to assess the building.

About 3,000 Sydney residents were forced out of a new 34-story apartment building Monday after they heard cracking noises, officials said.

An emergency operation is underway and police have closed the nearby train station and several roads.

Ecove is now developing a fifth apartment building, the 38-storey Boomerang Tower.

Image: The Opal Tower has nearly 400 apartments.

Aerial footage by Seven Network showed fire crews setting up tents while police redirect traffic and pedestrians.

Concerns were raised at around 2.45pm local time (3.45am GMT) on Monday when residents reported hearing loud cracking sounds coming from the 10th floor.

The building has shifted between one and two millimetres as a result of the issue, Police Detective Superintendent Philip Rogerson said.

Police check the unit numbers of the residents after an inspection of the Opal Tower to determine whether it is safe for them to return. "Hopefully it won't take longer than hours", Fire and Rescue Acting Inspector Greg Wright told reporters.

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

Exclusion zones and traffic diversions are in place.

But there has been no further movement detected on laser monitors deployed by emergency services.

Residents from nearby properties have also been told to leave and are not being let back inside.

Some residents had told authorities they were anxious about their pets left behind in the building, but police said the number one priority was for human safety, The Daily Telegraph reported. Ecove spokesman Mark Abraham said the building was assessed by the "relevant authorities".

Police quickly arrived and evacuated those who had not already rushed outside of the 117m tower, which was only completed in August and has 392 apartments, a retail area and a childcare centre.

It cost $165 million to build.

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