NEW BRUNSWICK — Cleanup and removal of a collapsed crane toppled by a gusty thunderstorm is under way, as displaced Rutgers students scramble to find another place to live.

The crane at a construction site on Hamilton Street off Easton Avenue in New Brunswick fell around 7:45 p.m and crashed into two residential properties, according to city spokeswoman Jennifer Bradshaw, but no injuries were reported to the seven students. Four women lived in one of the units and three in the other.

No one was injured by the collapse, and all tenants were accounted for, Bradshaw said.

Resident Jamie Hung told New Jersey 101.5 her room was the "most impacted'" by the crane collapse. After waiting 90 minutes for firefighers to check the building and make sure the power was of,f she and one of her roommates were allowed inside.

"I had to climb through a lot of drywall and debris to get to my stuff. I'm pretty sure I lost anything that was on my desk and on a particular side of the room because it was covered by the debris," Hung, a supply chain management major about to enter her senior year, said.

Hung and her roommate stayed at the Heldrich Hotel on Sunday night and will have to wait several days before the landlord has another unit available for her. Hung said Rutgers has been contacted by director of off campus housing because she saw a comment Hung made on Facebook. The director said she could offer assistance but had no details yet, Hung said.

Bradshaw said the construction company began working with emergency responders and OSHA on Monday to remove the crane, but doing so will take several days.

Collpased crane in New Brunswick
Collpased crane in New Brunswick (Christine LoBrutto Miles)

Bradshaw said an additional two properties adjoining the affected sites have been evacuated for the safety of the tenants. Gas, electric and water utilities have all been secured in the affected area and a timeline for the return of the tenants to the properties is not yet known.

The cause of the collapse is still under investigation.

Elaina Francis contributed to this report

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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