Two condominium homes in north Nanaimo were evacuated after a crane truck doing roofing work flipped over.
The accident happened shortly before 11 a.m.
According to residents of the complex, the crane was lifting a load of roofing material onto the roof of one of the four-plexes when the truck tipped over, causing the boom of its crane to crash down onto two of the buildings.
The impact shattered a water supply line, which flooded one of the downstairs condo units.
Leanne Bredy, a next-door neighbour to one of the condos impacted, said she was watching The Price is Right with her grandmother when she heard a large crash, so she ran out to see if anyone was injured.
“I made sure everybody was OK, nobody was hurt. There was gas leaking from the truck, so I went in, got some cat litter, gave it to [work crew] and they put it on,” she said. “The main thing was I wanted to make sure everyone was OK.”
Residents, who waited for word from firefighters on scene to see if they could get back into their condos or collect personal items and find temporary shelter, likened the noise and shaking of the crane crashing into the buildings as similar to an earthquake. Morgane Riddell, who was about to step into her shower when the crane struck the building, said she felt lucky to escape unhurt.
“I was just getting into the shower when everything started falling down on us and I heard the big crack,” Riddell said.
“I had no clothes on, so I didn’t know what to do. I just grabbed a robe, but then [her partner] said put some clothes on, but there was water coming everywhere and it felt like there was stuff falling from the ceiling on top of us and we grabbed the dog and we ran out as quickly as possible, but I was a little bit scared. I almost missed being, basically, hit. That was kind of nerve-racking.”
Tim Doyle, Nanaimo Fire Rescue deputy chief of operations, said the crane boom is resting on the roof of the buildings and the city was bringing in engineers to determine how to right the truck.
“We have engineers on the way to assess the situation and come up with a plan to remove the crane safely,” Doyle said. “There were no reports of injuries. Most people were at work. There’s structural damage from the boom hitting the building and there’s also water damage from a broken water line.”
Plans were being formed to right the truck, an operation complicated by the crane boom which was fully extended. At least one section was bent when the truck rolled over, which means it can’t be retracted and will likely have to be cut into sections before the vehicle can be rolled back onto its wheels and towed.
Nanaimo Fire Rescue has remained on scene.
“It’s going to be a long time before it gets fixed, I think,” Riddell said.
Nanaimo Fire Rescue dealing with flipped crane truck in North Nanaimo at Cedar Grove Drive. No reports of injuries or extent of damage to homes crane boom fell on. More to come.#crane #boomtruck @NanaimoBulletin pic.twitter.com/Hcb0NCr9AT
— Chris Bush (@ChrisBushphotog) August 26, 2019