LYNN (CBS) – Dozens of emergency rescuers spent hours Thursday morning working to free two men trapped under a collapsed roof in Lynn.
A 100 by 125 foot section of roof on a warehouse-like garage crashed in on top of the men’s car, just after 5 a.m. They were inside a building on the Lynnway, where Greater Lynn Senior Services vehicles park. Moments after pulling out of their parking spot, the roof fell.
Raw Video: Surveillance Video of Roof Collapse
“The roof came down on his vehicle right in the middle of the garage,” said Deputy Lynn Fire Chief James McDonald. “You can’t describe how lucky someone is in this situation.”
“Starting from the bottom up there was steel beams, corrugated steel, wood plank roof, insulation board about an inch and ¾ thick and then a rubberized roof on top of that, and three feet of snow.” All of that fell on top of the sedan with the two men inside.
Raw Video: Lynn Roof Collapse
“They were still seated in their passenger seats, kind of hunched down in their seats, with the roof of the vehicle just above the head rest,” McDonald said.
The roofing beams fell parallel to the vehicle, hitting Peter Sullivan’s Honda Civic from the hood to the trunk. Had the beams been aligned across the vehicle, rescuers said the outcome could have been very different.
“It would have been a little bit more devastating,” McDonald said.
Raw Video: Deputy Lynn Fire Chief James McDonald
Sullivan and his friend Cesar Jiminez were in contact with rescuers by cell phone throughout their three hour ordeal.
Rescuers reached them by digging through the snow, then cutting through all of the roofing material.
“We had probably 24 to 30 firefighters with shovels,” McDonald described. They then went to work with hand tools and power tools to cut through the collapsed roof and the roof of the car.
Neither man was seriously injured; they were taken to the hospital for evaluation.
Several more people were inside the building when the roof collapsed; they all got out on their own and everybody was accounted for. Search and rescue dogs were brought to the warehouse as a precaution.
The Lynn area received just under a foot of snow overnight.
WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson shares pictures from inside the collapsed garage.