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FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: Businesses back to normal after bent crane forces evacuations

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A bent construction crane in downtown Wilmington forced the evacuation of several buildings, along with some streets being closed. The sub-contractor says building were evacuated as a precaution as work crews tried to unhook the crane.

“We’re in the Self Help building on the second floor. The fireman came in and asked us to evacuate, because of the danger of the crane possibly toppling over,” said Beverly Dixon, who was forced from her office around 11:30 a.m.

The crane was working on the future Courtyard Marriott hotel on Grace and Second Streets. Around 9:30 a.m. the arm of the crane buckled while trying to move a metal beam.

“I’m thinking we’re probably not going back in today,” Enan Baldwin said as she waited on the street.

Baldwin and several others who work at 221 Second Street say the evacuation caught them off guard.

“I thought one of my staff members was joking that we had to leave the building,” Andrew Gray said. “We came outside, and everyone was standing around looking at this bent crane.”

Minutes later firefighters showed up to help evacuate surrounding buildings. A section of Second and Front Streets were also closed off as crews worked to get a replacement crane in place.

It took a little more than two hours, but crews finally disconnected the buckled crane and folks were allowed back in their buildings.

No injuries were reported.

The bent crane was moved to an area on site that would not pose a risk to surrounding buildings.

More: continued here

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News provided by WWAY NewsChannel 3 and the StarNewsOnline

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