Uncertainty Ahead For Evacuated Residents After 'Rapid Deterioration' Of Mascot Tower
Another night of uncertainty lies ahead for hundreds of residents of Sydney's Mascot Towers after the building was evacuated over concerns of its structural integrity.
Residents have told of their panic and confusion on Friday night when police and fire crews arrived at the building in Sydney's inner-south, forcing hundreds to abandon their apartments and belongings.
"I had maybe 20 minutes to pack everything I could get into the car and drive out," Matthew Harris told 10 News First on Saturday.
"I tried to go back in to get some more stuff and the police wouldn't let me in."
Engineers rushed to the scene to monitor the situation just after 6pm on Friday night after concerns were raised about "movement inside the building and stability," NSW Fire and Rescue told 10 daily at the time.
Though authorities insisted the emergency evacuation was only a precaution and there was no immediate risk of the building collapsing, it's been revealed that concerns were raised several days ago.
10 News First understands support beams were erected in the basement two days ago after serious cracks began to appear.
Residents of the tower were sent an email which said that the "deterioration" had been "rapid" and that "propping" was a "necessary precaution to ensure ... safety."
More than 24 hours after the evacuation, there are still no answers as to what caused the cracks to appear, but there have been some suggestions it may be linked to nearby construction.
"It's just notoriously suspicious a new building that's not even occupied next door and a building that's been up for 12 years all of a sudden has ... substantial cracks," local member Ron Hoenig said.
It's still unclear when or if Mascot Tower residents will be allowed to return to their homes with security now patrolling the building to ensure people are not allowed inside.
"It's concerning certainly that we may lose whatever we have left in the apartment," Jaede Germain told 10 News First.
NSW Minister for Better Regulation said it would have been an "extremely stressful situation" for residents.
The incident at Mascot Towers comes less than six months after the evacuation of the Opal Tower in Sydney's Olympic Park after large cracks were found.
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