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NEW CASTLE Crane boom breaks free in transit



Published: Fri, April 4, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



The swinging boom knocked down poles and power lines.

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Police are investigating an accident on the city's south side that closed a portion of Moravia Street about 17 hours. No injuries were reported.

Police said a tractor-trailer with a crane on it was southbound on Moravia Street just after noon Monday when a cable broke on the crane. As the truck moved south on Moravia between Lutton and Reynolds streets, the crane's boom began swinging back and forth, catching electric, cable and telephone wires, police said.

Police had to quickly close the street because of many downed wires, several of which were sparking. Penn Power shut off the power, police said.

In the two-block area, the crane struck a parked Ford Explorer, smashing the windshield and peeling the roof, police said. A billboard was destroyed and seven utility poles were knocked down by the time the truck stopped.

Police said the driver had to coast the truck to a stop because, in an abrupt stop, the crane could have swung around and crashed through the truck cab.

Power poles

Bart Spagnola, area manager for Penn Power, said the company replaced the poles, some of which were Verizon telephone and Adelphia cable poles. He said one small business customer and three residential customers lost power.

Spagnola said power was restored sometime before 2:30 a.m., when Penn Power had finished replacing wires and poles and clearing the area of broken poles and downed wires.

Police said Moravia Street was again open to traffic about 5 this morning.

Police didn't release the name of the truck driver nor say whether he will be charged.




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