30-Storey Tower Evacuated As Residents Report 'Cracking Noises'

'Cracking noises' trigger evacuation of Sydney apartment tower

'Cracking noises' trigger evacuation of Sydney apartment tower

Thousands of people were evacuated from their Australia homes ahead of Christmas after residents in a high-rise building reported hearing "cracking" noises and feared the building might be unstable.

"An emergency services operation is underway after concerns were raised for the structural integrity of a 30-storey building at Sydney Olympic Park", police said in a statement.

One resident told Nine News he heard a "big bang" like something "snapped" inside the building.

"We've attended and police and Fire And Rescue evacuated up to 3,000 people from the building and the surrounding areas".

Police also evacuated 55 children from a nearby childcare centre and a 1km exclusion zone was put in place.

The Opal Tower, which was completed earlier this year, was described by developer Ecove when the design was first unveiled as "a curvaceous, triangular-shaped building with green walls of living plants embedded into the façade, and elevated communal courtyards every five levels".

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) and Urban Search and Rescue teams, as well as engineers, were set to go to the 10th floor to find the source of the cracking as of 7.40 p.m. on December 24.

Residents of the 51 units that were deemed structurally unsafe were escorted back to gather their belongings. They've made their own arrangements for accommodation, according to NSW police.

Another resident told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation there were cracks on the building's 12th and 13th floors.

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. In addition, you could feel when the Wind is strong, like the building was moving.

"We don't know [when the building will be safe to re-enter] until the engineers assess the building and find out what caused the issue-or if there's a major issue with the building", FRNSW Acting Inspector Greg Wright said December 24, according to AAP.

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