Security camera video caught the terrifying moment a boulder crashed through a wall of a Hawaii home over the weekend, barely missing a woman who moved into the newly built house just a week before with her family.
What are the details?
Caroline Sasaki, 65,
told KITV-TV she was walking into the living room of her new home in Palolo — a Honolulu neighborhood — just before midnight Saturday to watch television.
But a runaway boulder interrupted those plans.
Video recorded the moment the 5-foot-by-5-foot rock crashed through the wall of the home, rolling past and barely missing Sasaki — and the TV — before crashing through another wall and coming to rest in a bedroom, the station said.
“All I heard was the boom when the glass cracked from the sliding door, so I backed up …” Sasaki recalled to KITV.
Image source: YouTube video screenshot
She added to the station that she has a bad leg and walks slowly, which she believes may have delayed her from crossing into the boulder’s path.
“I haven’t watched the video, but they said if I took one more step, I probably wouldn’t be here,” Sasaki told KITV.
(Content warning: Language)
RAW VIDEO | Boulder barrels through Palolo area home, narrowly missing woman
Police told KITV the boulder appeared to have plowed through a cinder-block wall around the property, hit the family’s car, crashed through a glass door — and then rolled across the living room floor, slamming through another wall before coming to rest in a bedroom.
What’s more, Sasaki’s family was in the process of moving into the newly built hillside home and had been there only for about a week when the boulder incident occurred, the station said.
Heavy rain moving across the state was thought to have loosened the boulder, KITV said, adding that Sasaki suspects the boulder came from excavation work above the property, closer to a mountain.
The station said she’s been urging city leaders to stop the development.
“I was in fear of this happening from before, from when they started,” Sasaki told KITV.
The city’s fire department reported that another area resident said a smaller boulder — roughly 2 feet by 2 feet — hit his retaining wall but didn’t breach his property, the station said.
Dawn Takeuchi Apuna, director of the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting, issued the following statement to KITV:
The neighboring landowner submitted applications to the Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) for demolition, grading, and building permits for a proposed two-story, two-family detached residence. DPP reviewed those applications, including the plans, scope of work, and compliance with pertinent codes and ordinances. As a result of the recent rock fall event, DPP sent out inspectors to determine whether the developer exceeded the permitted scope of work and plans, and complied with all codes and ordinances. DPP’s investigation is ongoing, and the City is unable to determine any wrongdoing by the developer at this time. It would be irresponsible and premature to point any fingers at any particular party, landowner, or event without knowing the full details of what has occurred. We will provide more details as they develop.
Apuna added that “after viewing the horrific video, I reached out to Mrs. Sasaki today out of concern for her and to answer any questions she may have had. We assured her that we will investigate and report back to her as soon as possible.”
Councilmember Calvin Say, who chairs the zoning committee, also issued a statement to the station about the boulder incident:
I am so grateful that no one was physically injured by the boulder that crashed into the Sasaki’s family home during the heavy rains this weekend. After this weekend’s incident with Ms. Sasaki, the Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) sent out building and civil engineering inspectors to investigate. Separately, I was contacted by a constituent in mid-January who was concerned about construction on Palolo Avenue in the same area as the boulder incident. My office reached out to the DPP, who sent an inspector to the property and found that the shotcrete wall and rock fall fence in question were on the approved plans, and therefore there was no violation.
Oahu homeowner recalls near miss with boulder that crashed into her Palolo home
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Author: Dave Urbanski
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