New Jersey

300-Ton Crane Crushes Water Main, Leaves Hundreds Without Water in New Jersey

About 200 water customers lost water service, while as many as 65,000 others in at least two New Jersey communities had low pressure after a large crane apparently damaged a water main underneath the street, officials said. 

A 24-inch water main broke at Anderson and Columbia avenues in Cliffside Park at about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to officials. Workers were making repairs to a large, nearly two block-long crane and had begun to lift it off of the ground when they noticed water spurting from the street.

The break caused the intersection to flood, possibly causing damage to other underground utility lines. About 200 residents nearby lost water, while as many as 65,000 customers in portions of Fort Lee and Cliffside Park had low water pressure, according to United Water New Jersey. 

Boil-water advisories were issued in Cliffside Heights, Fort Lee and Englewood Cliffs after the break. Water is being tested to see if it's safe to drink, and the test results are expected back in the next one to two days, United Water said. 

The crane had been moved into the area over the weekend and was lowered to the street for repairs early Monday. Authorities say that the weight of the crane -- 300 tons -- may have played a factor.

The crane was being disassembled Wednesday night so that each piece could be hauled off. 

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