When Mary Broadley heard a deafening crash and felt the walls of her 11th-storey apartment shuddering, she thought it was a terrorist attack.
Then she looked out of her window and saw that a crane from a neighbouring construction site had collapsed on the roof of her top-floor home in Wolli Creek.
“The whole place was absolutely shaking,” she said. “I’d been in the back bedroom, I looked out the window and saw the guys working on the crane. I went to the kitchen to put the kettle on and then it just crashed.
“I was terrified. My husband came running downstairs and said, ‘Mary what did you do?’
“We looked out and we could see that the balcony was smashed to smithereens. There was glass everywhere. We knew something terrible had happened.”
It has been almost a month since a crane fell from the Marq East construction site on to the neighbouring Arc building, causing significant damage and the evacuation of hundreds of residents.
All the residents have since moved back in, apart from the occupants of the three top-storey apartments which suffered the most damage.
Mrs Broadley and her husband Bill are staying in temporary accommodation in Zetland and are unsure when they will be able to move back home while engineers and insurers assess the damage.
“We have been told we have to stay where we are until September 22 and then they might have an update for us,” she said.
“Possibly we may have to move to alternative permanent accommodation so who knows what that means?
“Are we ever going to be able to get home again? It’s all very uncertain and I’m very upset about it all.”
The Scottish-born hairdresser had called the Arc building home for three years and describes her three-bedroom apartment as “absolutely beautiful”.
She has been allowed back into the building on a few occasions to collect belongings while she and her husband camp at the Zetland apartment, organised by developer Frasers Property.
“It’s OK, but it’s not your own home, it’s not your own bed, it’s not your own kitchen – it’s not the same,” she said.
“It’s a pain in the backside but what can we do?”
Mrs Broadley said that, while she was terrified by the incident, she is relieved it wasn’t worse.
“Every time I go up there I am quite scared,” she said.
“I thought it was a bomb at first. I thought it was a terrorist attack. I’m still surprised that no one was killed.”
Probuild, the construction company that operated the crane, has been contacted for comment.
Frasers Property, which is managing communications with residents on behalf of Probuild, has also been contacted for comment.
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