Huge crane smashes into apartment block

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The Independent Online

Residents of a city centre apartment complex had a lucky escape today when a building crane and five-ton weight smashed through it.

The crane driver was seriously injured in the incident when he was propelled onto the roof.

He was taken to hospital and was believed to be in a stable condition.

The crane was working on a new block of flats at Tabley Street, near Liverpool's waterfront, when the accident happened.

Investigations have begun into why the crane arm ripped through the penthouse down through several floors of the multi-storey block.

Resident Sarah Banfield was in the building on her lunch break at the time.

She said: "My boyfriend Andrew and I were sitting in our bedroom when we heard an almighty bang.

"The whole building shuddered. It felt like it was literally shaking.

"We grabbed hold of each other because it seemed to go on for ages, we thought it was an earthquake.

"We looked down from our balcony and saw a girl sobbing.

"We tried to get out so opened our front door and there was dust everywhere.

"We went through the emergency exit but it was full of falling debris.

"I stepped across a hole in the floor which had bits of metal sticking out of it, I don't know how I did it.

"We got across and started running downstairs but there was no way out on the ground floor because the door was blocked.

"We ran back upstairs to the second floor where a builder helped get us out.

"We got absolutely drenched because of the broken water pipes."

James Berry, group manager for Merseyside Fire and Rescue, said: "It's fortunate that, at that time of the day, the majority of flats would have been unoccupied."

A Health and Safety Executive spokesman confirmed they were investigating.