A heavy-duty boring crane working on a vacant block in Melbourne’s north-west has collapsed, causing the boom to crash into the house of an elderly couple next door.
Emergency services were called to the scene at Woodlands Street, Strathmore, about 3:00pm when the 33-tonne crane was being loaded onto a semi-trailer at the end of the day.
The impact from the boom caused significant damage, leaving a large hole in the roof and rendering the home unsafe for the occupants, an elderly couple, who were inside at the time.
They were shocked but unhurt, fire officials said.
Elisabeth Crowe, a neighbour, said it was horrific because she knew the elderly residents were inside.
“They were sitting in the room when the crane came down,” she said.
From the street the house looks fine, but the damage is so bad the residents have to move out. (ABC News)
“They don’t know where they’re going to be tonight or tomorrow or [for] some months to come, I would think.
“They are frail and elderly. It’s not fair.”
Ms Crowe called it “an incident that was always going to happen”.
“So many people have been concerned about this,” she told the ABC.
“Yesterday I contacted council and got the inspector out to have a look and discuss issues about compliance, mainly about the safe access for pedestrians, children … the elderly.”
Metropolitan Fire Brigade station officer Tim Wadsworth said the incident could have been a lot worse.
“It’s a highly spectacular scene, to see a machine of that size [collapse] into a house,” he said.
“It’s [an] incredible the amount of damage that it’s done and you can tell by looking at it, it’s very lucky that no-one was injured.”
WorkSafe was notified and fire crews will remain on the scene until the crane is safely removed.
It followed a spate of problems involving cranes in Melbourne in the past three months, including a fatal incident at Box Hill.
A man in his 40s died and two others were injured after a container of concrete fell from a crane on the worksite.
Residents in Richmond had to be evacuated from their homes in July after a crane was damaged by high winds, leaving it in danger of collapse.
Earlier this month, a crane driver was treated for suspected back and leg injuries after falling two metres inside a tower crane.