Man whose grandparents went missing in Miami building collapse keeps getting eerie calls from their landline
A man whose grandparents have been missing since last week’s devastating building collapse in Miami says he has been bombarded with mysterious calls from their landline.
Jake Samuelson told local broadcaster WBLG that he has received at least 16 calls from the number of Arnie and Myriam Notkin.
But rather than hear the reassuring voices of his beloved grandma and grandpa, each time he answered he was greeted with nothing but the sound of static.
More than 150 residents remain unaccounted for after the 12-floor Champlain Towers South crashed to the ground on Thursday morning, leaving five people confirmed dead.
Samuelson said that the first call from his grandparents’ number came at around 9.50pm that same fateful day.
“We were all sitting there in the living room, my whole family, Diane, my mother, and we were just shocked and we kind of thought nothing of it because we answered, and it was static,” he told the Florida TV station.
On Friday morning another 15 calls came, in with each one leaving the family in turmoil.
Samuel and his loved-ones still don’t know whether it’s the Nutkins trying to make contact or some sort of technical glitch.
The couple, both in their 80s, who lived in apartment 302 of the block, kept their phone right next to their bed, he explained.
Arnie, 87, worked as a PE teacher and Myriam, 81, as a banker and real estate agent, according to local media.
“We are trying to rationalise what is happening here, we are trying to get answers,” Samuelson told the TV station.
The family have contacted detectives about the phenomenon and are now waiting to hear back.
North Miami Beach Commissioner Fortuna Smukler, who grew up with the Notkins’ three daughters, told the Miami Herald she had begun fearing the worst for the elderly couple.
“At this point it would be a miracle … we’re hoping for a miracle,” she said.
However, officials in the area say they still harbour hope that some of the 156 missing people might be found alive.
Firefighters have been made progress on smoldering fire and smoke beneath the rubble, allowing rescuers to search with fewer limitations, officials said.
Aided by dogs, infrared scanning and heavy equipment, rescuers hope that air pockets that may have formed in the debris might keep people alive.
"The biggest thing now is hope," Fire Chief Alan Cominsky said. "That’s what’s driving us. It’s an extremely difficult situation."