Block of ice smashes into Pico Rivera home

18/ 12/ 2008 a las 11:09 | Publicado en Casuística, Daños, Hielo azul, Materiales | Comentarios desactivados en Block of ice smashes into Pico Rivera home

80-100 pound mass leaves gaping hole in roof
By Airan Scruby, Staff Writer
Posted: 12/18/2008 05:16:22 PM PST

PICO RIVERA (CALIFORNIA) – Lupe Murillo was sitting in the family room of her home, a few yards from the Christmas tree, when she heard a crash-landing on her roof.

It wasn’t Santa Claus.

A block of ice weighing 80 to 100 pounds smashed into the family’s house on Myron Street, snapping rafters in half and making a 3-foot hole in the roof.

Murillo, 54, said it was 11:30 on Wednesday night when she heard the ice strike her two-story home.

“This crash sounded like an airplane had fallen through the roof,” Murillo said.

The impact shook the house and forced a cloud of dust from the family’s attic through the home’s ventilation system.

The house is in the flight path for many planes coming in to Los Angeles International Airport.

According to Ian Gregor, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, initial inspections of photos sent by the homeowners suggest the ice might have fallen off the fuselage of an airplane.

“It’s not unheard of,” Gregor said. Ice from airplanes usually comes from aircraft lavatories, which occasionally leak fluid to the exterior of the plane. This liquid freezes at high altitudes into “blue ice,” then falls off when the plane descends to warmer air.

But this chunk, probably 2 feet in diameter falling from 9,000 to 10,000 feet, was no blue ice chunk, Gregor said.

He said FAA inspectors will be sent to examine the ice in person. The Murillos are storing a bucket of the ice in their freezer.

Four planes flying over the area at the time have been identified as the possible ice-droppers.

Those aircraft, two Boeing 737s and two Boeing 757s, are being tracked down through the airlines. They should be examined, Gregor said, to see if the ice caused any damage to the plane, or was the result of existing damage.

“You certainly don’t want a repeat,” Gregor said. “Luckily nobody was injured.”

The process of tracking down those aircraft could be tricky, Gregor said, because several hours after the incident, they could be scattered across the United States or even the world.

Murillo said she grew up in the house where she now lives with her husband, three children and elderly mother.

Three years ago, her family undertook an extensive remodel that transformed the house into a large, Mediterranean two-story. But progress has been slow, and the family was just remodeling the last room – a new master bathroom.

The hole in the roof will have to take priority now, Murillo said. Rain is expected early next week, and the family hopes to patch the hole before then.

Although the extent of the damage won’t be known until inspectors arrive, she said she’s confident their homeowner’s insurance will cover the damage, which includes not only the roof and unfinished attic, but new, tiny cracks in the upstairs walls.

“We can’t seem to get this house done,” Murillo said.

The ice bomb hasn’t been the only setback in construction. Six months ago, a car speeding down the residential street at 90 mph crashed into a brick fence, destroying it and taking out a pine tree in the front yard.

“Needless to say, I want a priest to come and bless the house,” Murillo laughed.

Fuente: Whittier Daily News

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