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Construction incident causes downtown New West business to close for couple of days

Drilling equipment crashed into Good Omen

An accident near a downtown construction site could have been a lot worse, says New West Coun. Chuck Puchmayr.

Puchmayr said a flatbed tow truck was delivering a drill to a construction site at the corner of Sixth and Clarkson streets on Wednesday afternoon when the incident occurred.

“I was told there was a generator on the truck as well. Clarkson is on a bit of a slope, so as soon as they took the generator off, the truck tilted and the machine flipped up against the Cliff Block building, and smashed a window of the Good Omen gift store,” he said.

Puchmayr is a director with the Lookout Housing and Health Society, which operates the Cliff Block Residence at 606 Clarkson St. Lookout staff contacted him about the accident, and he went to the scene.

Puchmyar said a tenant from the Cliff Block was hit by some debris, but wasn’t seriously injured. He noted that when the emergency weather shelter was located in that building, people would often gather outside because there was nowhere to congregate inside.

 “There could have been half a dozen people congregating on that sidewalk right beside where that unit was being dropped off,” he said. “lt definitely could have been a lot more serious than it was.”

Puchmayr said it didn’t appear the building sustained any structural damage in the incident, but the city was sending an engineer down to have a look. (The Record has contacted engineering for comment.)

Hailey Finnigan, strategic communications coordinator for the New Westminster Police Department, said NWPD, New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services and electrical crews attended. The incident occurred across the street from the police station.

“Thankfully, no one was injured,” she said in an email to the Record. “The sound of the crash and the flickering lights that were caused by the accident was quite a shock for people visiting the police department.”

Puchmayr said crews removed the drill from spot where it landed and put plywood up on the window of Good Omen, which shattered during the incident.

In a Facebook posting, Good Omen said it would be closed Oct. 28 and 29 (yesterday and today) and would keep customers posted on its weekend hours.

“Yesterday, a massive piece of drilling equipment burst through our window! Thankfully no customers were in the shop and no one was seriously injured. Thank you all for your messages of care and support yesterday; it means a lot,” said a statement posted on Thursday. “Hopefully it won’t take too long to get everything sorted and we’ll be back open to greet you soon! Any online orders that are placed will ship or be ready for pick up next week. Thank you again!”

Follow Theresa McManus on Twitter @TheresaMcManus
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