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Construction crane collapses on house, apartment building in NJ

Posted at 6:15 AM, Jul 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-22 18:45:15-04

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — During a thunder storm in New Brunswick, a crane and wrecking ball came crashing through a living room at 7:45 p.m. on Sunday.

The crane itself was parked on Hamilton Street, but the wrecking ball landed in two townhouses a block away. This happened right next to Rutgers University.

"The ceiling completely fell, and honestly if there were someone in there it would have been a whole different story," said George Shadid, who owns the townhouses and rents them out to students.

"Thank God no one was inside. Two girls actually live there. They were there all weekend. They went to get dinner with their family and they just came back maybe an hour after it happened."

A spokeswoman for the city of New Brunswick said OSHA officials and construction crews are on site trying to get the crane off of homes, but it will probably take a couple days.

The crane comes from a company called Vergona out of Englewood, N.J. A woman who answered the phone there today said they have no comment.

In the past decade, Vergona has had 3 OSHA violations. In 2013, one violation was listed as serious that pertained to rigging equipment safety.

PSE&G turned off all the power and gas to the homes. The 100 block of Hamilton Street will remain closed so crews can take apart the crane.

In the meantime, no one is allowed back in the homes that were hit.

How this happened here is still under investigation.