D.C.

Air conditioning unit falls at construction site, crushes truck cab

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(WJLA) - A large air conditioning unit fell from an aerial crane at a construction site in Northwest Washington Saturday, crushing the cab of a tractor trailer.
 
“It was a huge boom, almost like an explosion,” says Katherine Faulders. “It was extremely far off the ground. It was, I’d say, parallel with the top of the building."

Photo: Carl Graci

Faulders says crews lifted the unit from the back of the trailer around 10:30 a.m. She says as it dangled above the new high rise going up at 17th and Rhode Island Avenue NW, she and a friend couldn’t help but notice the winds. 

“He looked up at me and said ‘that’s going to fall,’ and right as he said it the thing came crashing down.” 

The driver of the truck that carried the AC unit had just gotten out of the cab. 

Despite the devastation, Faulders says no one called 911. 

“No emergency vehicles, no sirens, didn’t hear anything.”

Just six months ago, construction crews at the same site hit a 116-year-old water main. The 20-inch water main turned the site into a three-story lake. Surrounding businesses were flooded for blocks, including the ABC News bureau. 

“It started going into our second floor studios and most of our studios took a lot of water. We dropped a bunch of ceiling tiles,” says Eric Olson. 

Both D.C. Fire and Metropolitan Poilce tell ABC7 they were never contacted about any incidents. Crews with Balfour-Beatty, the construction company in charge, say "we're still trying to get all our facts at this point."

"People need to be aware this happened. It's a huge public safety issue," Faulders says.

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