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Crane Repairing County Building Topples

County executive says "we were very, very lucky" no injuries occurred when heavy machinery collapses into parking lot while making repairs from Hurricane Sandy to courthouse roof.

A massive crane repairing the Essex County courthouse roof toppled over around 11 am. Wednesday.

No one was injured when a crane being used to repair the roof of the building collapsed and landed in the building parking lot Wednesday morning, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. said.

“We were very, very lucky,” DiVincenzo said, “The county was off and nobody was injured.”

Only a skeleton crew was working in the building at the time of the incident, he said.

“It was a massive crane.”

Repairs were being made to the building’s roof as well as replacing an antenna on the building for the county sheriff’s department. The antenna had blown off the roof during Hurricane Sandy on Monday.

The county is bringing in heavy machinery to upright the crane and complete the repairs, DiVincenzo said Wednesday.

The county executive also announced: 

  • 24 people stayed overnight at the county shelter in the Codey Arena in West Orange.
  • Parts of downtown Newark have their power back. The majority of Newark is still out.
    DiVincenzo said he has been meeting daily with the power companies and “pushing them very hard.” The problem, he said, is repair crews are being called off to handle emergency situations.
    “The number one issue is getting towns onboard (power back),” DiVincenzo said, adding, “There are major power outages throughout the county.”
    The power companies have a priority list of getting hospitals and the water pumping station in East Orange back online to make sure the towns its serves have water.
  • He is unsure if the county buildings will be reopened on Thursday.
  • School reopening decisions are being made on a town-by-town basis.
  • It is unclear when Essex County Vocational Technical schools will reopen. Currently, only two of the schools have power.
  • County parks remain closed until it is safe for them to open.

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