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Terrifying Video Shows Two Giant Cranes Collapsing And Crushing Homes In The Netherlands

Footage from residents of Alphen aan den Rijn caught the moment the two structures toppled over, destroying several buildings below.

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Residents of the central Dutch town of Alphen aan den Rijn captured the terrifying moment two huge cranes collapsed and crushed several houses on the banks of the River Rhine on Monday, prompting screams from stunned onlookers.

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The fire service initially estimated that 20 people may have been injured, based on the number believed to have been in the building at the time. However a spokesman later said only one person was hospitalized, Sky News reported.

"We hope that the number of victims stays at this one man who was taken to hospital with hip problems," spokesman Tim Koot said.

Crane expert Richard Krabbendam told De Telegraaf the incident could easily have been prevented, and described the operators as "very unprofessional and ridiculously amateurish."

Krabbendam said that it is unlikely the platform would have been able to support the crane properly:

When hoisting part of the bridge, you move the weight from one side of the pontoon to the other side. That's something a hydraulic crane can't handle. Even a child knows that kind of platform will start to wobble. It seems like whoever was in charge wasn't quite sure what they were doing. The bridge received a massive blow, when this kind of job should be executed with extreme precision.

Lifting with two cranes is already a risky operation on land, let alone on a floating platform on water.

You can watch a longer video of the crane collapse below:

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Maggy Van Eijk contributed reporting to this post.

Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Francis Whittaker at francis.whittaker@buzzfeed.com.

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