Oops! Builder's crane topples over and destroys brand new £1m luxury home
Last updated at 00:01 01 March 2008
The towering lorry's 50ft boom arm was part of a clean-up at the site in Broadstairs, Kent, when it toppled over - taking a roof with it.
Neighbours in Kingsgate Avenue, who live yards from the collision said their homes shook as if they had been hit by an earthquake.
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Trashed: The toppling crane smashes the house
The empty home is based in one of the most sought-after areas in Dickens' country.
Retired RAF man Thomas Hindmarsh, 70, said: "It was an unbelievable noise, like an explosion. It took the whole roof off, the thing could've done the same to any property on this road. My house was given a right old shake.
"They are building luxury flats and houses on the site, I wasn't a witness but I think whoever was driving the crane probably didn't think to keep it on even ground. However it happened, it's lucky no one was hurt.
"I can't wait to see the size of crane they get to shift this one."
Health and Safety Executive investigators are probing the accident.
Shocked onlookers witnessed the cab fall on its side causing the crane's arm to crash through the two-storey house's tiled roof and lean precariously over an adjoining road.
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The builders had just finished work on the luxury home when it was destroyed this morning
A Kent Police spokeswoman said the crane driver was treated at the scene for shock, but was not injured.
No-one else was hurt in the accident.
Thanet District Council building control officers were called out and the
incident is being dealt with by the Health and Safety Executive.
The vehicle is owned by Canterbury-based cranehire firm Bedingfield Lifting, whose motto is "No Mission Impossible".
Boss Tony Bedingfield said: "It's too early to say how it happened but a thorough investigation is underway.
"These cranes are extremely reliable and trustworthy. At the time of the a accident it was clearing containers from the site. The crane built the house.
Two even-bigger cranes, weighing 120-tons and 160-tons, have been dispatched to shift the smaller Devag crane this afternoon.
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