Drama as 40-tonne machine falls off trailer in Aylestone Road, Leicester
A 40-tonne stone crushing machine fell off a trailer yesterday, knocking a lamp-post into two parked cars.
Amazingly, no-one was injured in the dramatic incident at the junction of Aylestone Road and Lothair Road, Leicester, at about 11.40am.
The 30ft-long machine, which runs on metal tracks, gouged out a large chunk of the pavement and part of the road surface before coming to rest just feet from shops and homes.
Ironically, a sign on the side of the machine warned: "Caution: Beware of falling objects".
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Sarah Elliott-Smith, 32, who works at bridal-wear shop Dresses to Impress, close to the scene of the incident, said: "I was working upstairs at the front of the shop when I heard a screech of brakes and then this massive, loud crash.
"I thought something was coming into the shop.
"I looked out of the window and I saw this massive machine which had come off a lorry and bent over a lamp- post.
"I can't believe no-one was injured."
The lamp-post damaged the rear windscreen and bodywork on her Mazda 5 car.
Noreen Brain, 63, who runs Choice Cafe, next to the bridal shop, said: "All I heard was this massive bang.
"I thought whatever it was had come through the cafe. It was a shock.
"The cafe was full and everybody just jumped up and went out. It was so lucky nobody was on the pavement when it happened."
Her grandson, Sam Smillie, 19, who works at the cafe, said: "The machine on the back of the lorry slid off to the left.
"It looked like it was going to topple over and end up on its side. I thought it was going to end up in the bridal shop."
Cafe worker Frankie Thorne, 19, whose Renault Clio's windscreen was smashed after it was hit by the top of the lamp-post, said; "I've rung my insurance company – they couldn't believe what had happened.
"I didn't know what to think. I'm just hoping I don't have to pay the £500 excess."
Police diverted traffic down Saffron Lane away from the incident and managed cars on the road in single file.
There were delays on roads in the area until the vehicle was recovered.
The lorry driver manoeuvred the massive machine off the low loader before lining it up and re-loading it by about 2.30pm.
John Bloom, a spokesman for the vehicle's owners, Nottinghamshire-based Bloom Demolition and Excavation Ltd., said: "A vehicle in front of the driver braked sharply.
"The driver had to brake to avoid him and the chains holding the equipment snapped."