DURHAM — Shoppers at Northgate Mall in Durham received quite a lunchtime surprise.
Just before noon Thursday, a 800-pound crane ball crashed through the roof, narrowly missing one man. The mall is in the middle of a $6 million renovation project.
Crane operators are placing a steel structure on the roof for a new skylight, but the company doing the work says they were not on the job Thursday because of the weather.
"We had a vandal get inside our crane and play around, and the padlock ball was released," says crane safety director Chuck Murdock.
Witnesses say they saw a young man in the crane trying to work the equipment. When the ball fell they say he left the area. Safety experts are not sure how he got inside.