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A giant salt-spreading truck crashed through the wall of a Sanitation Department repair shop in Queens, New York on Wednesday morning, and spent the next few hours dangling several stories above the ground.
A giant salt-spreading truck crashed through the wall of a New York City Sanitation Department repair shop in Queens, New York on Wednesday morning, and spent the next few hours dangling several stories above the ground.
"I heard a loud bang and turned and I saw this truck sticking out of the side of the building," Frank Almona, who owns a repair shop nearby, told The New York Post. "The driver was screaming like crazy, he was saying, ’Help, help, help.’ He was hanging on. He looked like he was in shock."
According to reports, it's not yet clear how the driver, Robert Legall, lost control the 16-ton vehicle.
Legall, a 10-year veteran of the Sanitation Department, was rescued and taken to Elmhurst Hospital in stable condition, the Post reports. A witness told the paper that rescuers in a a cherry picker broke the truck's driver's side window to take Legall out.
Watch some of CBS New's footage from the scene:
"[Legall] was lucky he didn’t go though that front windshield," Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty said. "Holding onto the steering wheel saved his life. We’re all very fortunate. That’s the story of today. Everyone is alive."
NY1 reports that when the truck came through the brick wall, a large amount of debris went crashing down and crushed several cars parked below. One of the cars belonged to David Soto.
"The truck fell down. It crushed my car, and it's gonna be fun trying to get home. Lucky I wasn't sitting in my car," Soto told the network.
The truck itself belongs to the Department of Corrections, CBS News reports, and is used to salt roads at Rikers Island. It was brought in to the repair shop for off-season maintenance.
Reports indicate that at least one crane was brought to the site to help bring the truck back to the ground.
According to Doherty, it's too soon to tell what went wrong.
"We have no statement from [Legall] yet and we're waiting now for a statement from him to understand what exactly happened," Doherty told NY1. "We'll also be reviewing the operation of the vehicle to see if there was any faulty brakes or anything like that."