Seven families were evacuated on Monday evening after a crumbling, collapsed bathroom wall shut down a poolside condominium tower in Madison, Wis.
“I came outside and there was this huge cloud of dust. So I took a peek,” said Richard Saper, a 25-year resident. “I got inside and I noticed the wall had collapsed.”
And it was only the beginning. The piece of wall had clung tightly to a portion of the front of the building. Eventually, about three-quarters of the building gave in on itself. Mr. Saper estimated that about 10 percent of the first floor of the building fell away.
Mr. Saper said no one had seen the collapse, and some visitors were too shaken to go inside. But nearby Sennett Avenue, a favorite tourist stretch, was blocked off by police cars and police tape as a team of 13 structural engineers, local crews and private contractors peeled away layers of concrete, boards and rebar to get inside.
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