All I heard was the bang as glass shattered from the sliding door.
HAWAII (Web Desk) – Honolulu authorities are investigating a surreal incident in which a boulder broke through the living room of a new suburban home, narrowly missing the family who recently moved in.
Caroline Sasaki narrowly escaped serious injury or death when the 5ft boulder crashed through the wall of her living room in Palolo just as she entered the room to watch TV, KTIV 4 Island News reported.
“All I heard was the bang as the glass shattered off the sliding door, so I backed up and I guess it went right through me,” Sasaki said.
The boulder punched through the cinder block exterior wall, hitting the family’s car before bursting out a glass door, traversing the living room, going through another wall and ending in a second-story bedroom, according to the Honolulu Police Department.
The frightening incident, which took place just before midnight on Saturday, was captured by a security camera in the living room.
“I didn’t watch the video, but they said if I went one step further, I probably wouldn’t be here,” Sasaki said.
The 65-year-old believes her bad leg may have saved her life. The leg means she can only walk slowly, something she believes may have actually prevented her from being on the boulder’s path when it exploded into space.
Sasaki is convinced the boulder came from excavation work on a development project on the side of the valley above their home. She says she urged city leaders to halt development.
“I’ve been afraid of this happening since they started,” Sasaki said.
She added that while she’s just happy to be alive at the moment, her narrow escape has strengthened her resolve to stop things from happening.
KTIV 4 News reported that the Honolulu Fire Department received a report from another resident of a 2-foot boulder hitting a wall bordering his property.
In a statement released Tuesday, the city planning office said its initial investigation showed that permits for the project required a technical embankment hazard report from the developer due to planned excavation work provided by the developer. The report recommended several rockfall mitigation measures, including a 10-foot rockfall protection fence and an anchored chain link system to stabilize the rock face.
City officials determined that the required rockfall protection fence did not meet specifications in the approved building permit and said a work stoppage and notice of violation would be issued. But they didn’t conclude that the problem caused Sasaki’s house from the boulder or allowed him to damage it.
“DPP’s investigation is ongoing and the city is unable at this time to determine any wrongdoing by the developer,” Dawn Takeuchi Apuna, director of the Department of Planning and Permissions, said in a statement. “It would be irresponsible and premature to point the finger at any particular party, landowner or event without knowing the full details of the incident. We will announce more details as they develop.”
City officials have informed Sasaki that she can begin emergency repairs to her home immediately.
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