Christmas dashed for residents of Sydney 'cracking' tower

'Cracking noises' trigger evacuation of Sydney apartment tower

Residents flee brand new tower block as CRACKING sounds suggest imminent collapse

A number of residents have returned to their apartments while several have had to relocate following reports of people hearing and seeing "cracking" in a 38-story high-rise building in Sydney, Australia, throughout the morning of December 24.

Police said the Opal Tower apartment building moved a fraction of an inch on the 10th floor, leaving some people trapped in their apartments because the shifting floor caused their doors to jam.

About 2.45pm on Monday concerns were raised over the structural integrity of the 30-storey residential building on Brushbox Street.

The Opal Tower in Sydney was evacuated on Monday after residents reported hearing cracking noises.

Amid fears of building collapse, more than 3,000 people were evacuated from the 392-apartment building and its surroundings as a one-kilometre exclusion zone was put in place.

"It's not going to be done in minutes, hopefully it won't take longer than hours", he told reporters in Sydney.

One of the residents told Nine News that he had heard a "big bang", as though something had "snapped" inside the building, which only opened four months ago. Whether the residents for Christmas back to their homes, was still unclear.

Some residents of Opal Tower were also allowed to return, although not those living in the section of the building where the crack had been found.

Another said he saw cracks on the tower's 12th and 13th floors, while a number of others spoke of seeing a crack on the 10th floor.

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

Philip Rogerson, the police said the building had moved a millimetre or two.

The building sits at the southern end of the Olympic Park Parkview Precinct - part of the "Master Plan 2030" to turn the park into a new town centre with new homes and amenities.

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.

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