A family claimed they got 16 weird and inexplicable calls from a landline phone inside their grandparents’ sunken apartment in the Surfside condominium that collapsed in Florida on Thursday.
Their grandparents, Arnie and Myriam Notkin, lived on the third floor of the 12-story building that mysteriously collapsed early Thursday morning, June 24. They are among the 156 people still missing as rescuers scour the ruins.
The Notkins’ grandson, Jake Samuelson got at least 16 calls using his grandparents’ phone number, local news station WBLG reported. However, all he heard was silence each time he picked up the phone. “We are trying to rationalize what is happening here, we are trying to get answers,” Samuelson said.
Approximately 20 hours after the building collapsed, his grandparents’ phone number was supposedly called for the first time at 9:50 p.m. EDT on Thursday. After returning from the reunion facility on Friday morning, June 25, Samuelson’s family was surprised to receive 15 more calls from the Notkins on the caller ID, according to WPLG.
However, Samuelson informed the newspaper that the calls were not answered with human voices, only static. There were no more calls since Friday night, the family said.
“We were all sitting there in the living room, my whole family, Diane, my mother, and we were just shocked,” Samuelson recalled. “We kind of thought nothing of it because we answered, and it was static.” Samuelson added that the family is now looking forward to hearing from investigators regarding the strange and distressing phone calls.
Samuelson’s grandparents lived in Champlain Towers South apartment 302 with their home phone normally beside their bed. Arnie Notkin, 87, was known in the Miami Beach community for his work as a physical education teacher and trainer at various schools. Myriam, his 81-year-old wife, worked in the field of banking and real estate.
“At this point it would be a miracle … we’re hoping for a miracle”, said Fortuna Smukler, North Miami Beach Commissioner, who grew up with three girls of the Notkins.
Officials announced nine deaths in the collapse by Sunday morning, June 27, with four of them confirmed as Stacie Dawn Fang, 54; Antonio Lozano, 83; and Gladys Lozano, 79; and Manuel LaFont, 54.
Rescue workers were dealing with a “luck issue,” rather than a “resource issue”, Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett claimed. “They are here on-site, all the way from Mexico and even Israel,” Burkett said, adding that a little more luck could be used.