Wicklow People

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Residents escape from falling crane

Severe winds over the weekend almost toppled a heavy 200 foot high crane onto houses at Broomhall and only an empty building under construction managed to break the fall and prevent a potential disaster.However, Wicklow Fire Services had to act quick and evacuated everyone out of eight houses with the crane towering above them at an angle as it rested on the other building.

Severe winds over the weekend almost toppled a heavy 200 foot high crane onto houses at Broomhall and only an empty building under construction managed to break the fall and prevent a potential disaster.

However, Wicklow Fire Services had to act quick and evacuated everyone out of eight houses with the crane towering above them at an angle as it rested on the other building.

According to a spokesperson, they had a very lucky escape. If that crane had totally toppled, for sure it would have destroyed at least two houses.'

The dramatic scenes began to unfold at around 10 p.m. on Saturday night as high winds caused a crawler-crane on tracks to shift across the road at the Saunders Lane development. The crane, weighing around 70 tonnes, was being used to build some shop units but had been left upright over the weekend despite warnings about possible gale force winds.

Fortunately rather than falling across the road directly onto the houses, the crane fell onto a two storey concrete building under construction, and remained balanced there for four hours.

It could have been disastrous. It was a bit of good fortune that the cranes fall was broken,' added the fire services spokesperson.

Two Wicklow units and the GardaĆ­ helped evacuate the area, and closed off the road between Wicklow town and Rathnew from the Broomball roundabout.

One of the houseowners said, the arm of the crane was across the road and hanging over the kitchen of the house. It was very scary stuff. The wind kept blowing it back and forth as well and you could hear the chains clanking. My kids were pretty upset.'