Crane topples over onto vacant Roxborough house in morning storms

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By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The aftermath of the storms that rolled through the Philadelphia region Thursday morning revealed an uncommon sight for Roxborough residents: Outside of a home on Gates Street, between Manayunk Avenue and Penchin Street, the base of a crane sat tilted at a 45-degree angle, its long arm draped across the roof. 

Neighbors say a crew was working at 8:30 a.m. to bring down a big tree when the rain to fall.

"It was thunder claps. It was lightning," said Wyn Geary, who lives on the street. "We could hear the chainsaw noises, and I thought, 'Wow, it doesn’t seem that smart to be taking down a tree during a lightning storm.'"

The crane tilted and fell to its left onto a house that’s being developed. Part of the crane’s arm also hit another home. Neighbors say the people who live there were able to get out safely, though a crew member hurt his arm and was taken to the hospital. His condition has not been released.

"My baby is 10 months, sleeps in the bedroom right (under) the tree," he said. "I said, ‘Do I need to leave the house? Should I get my dog and my cat out?' They said, 'No, don’t worry about it. The crane’s gonna be fine.'"

It wasn’t, but John says he's grateful.

"Thankfully it didn’t hit my house," he said, "but if the crane would have swung the other way, it would have.”

The city's Department of Licenses and Inspections is investigating the cause of the incident.