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Ice falls from Moncton's tallest building, nearly hits firefighters

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Firefighters blocked off a section of downtown Moncton, N.B., Saturday after large chunks of ice fell from the city's tallest structure.

Moncton Fire Department Platoon Chief Keith Guptill said they received a motor vehicle collision call in the area of Botsford and Queen streets at 11 a.m., but it was actually ice falling from the Bell Aliant tower on top of a vehicle.

The tower is the highest structure in Moncton at about 127 metres.

"When they arrived, they found a vehicle that had ice through the windshield. Quite a sheet of ice actually," said Guptill.

Shortly after that, firefighters heard crashes all around them and quickly realized ice was falling off the communications tower.

Firefighters then got people in the area to step back from the building.

"While this is all happening, another vehicle comes along, a big sheet of ice falls off and lands on the roof of that vehicle smashing the rear window out and creating a (V-shape) in the roof," he said.

Firefighters then started pushing people back a couple of blocks.

In a video submitted to CTV News, firefighters could be seen dodging big chunks of ice.

No one was injured, but Guptill said it could have been very serious.

"If those two individuals wouldn't have been in a vehicle, (if) either one of them got struck just by the ice itself, as a person walking along it could have been very dangerous," he said. "People were fortunate for sure."

Guptill said he can't recall ice ever falling off the tower in the 20-plus years he's been with the department and said the mild temperature was the cause of the ice falling.

Firefighters left the scene around 4 p.m. after ice was cleared off the building by technicians from Bell Aliant.

"Once we became aware of the issue we worked with first responders to ensure public safety and cleared the tower as quickly as possible," said Katie Hatfield, senior manager of corporate communications with Bell Aliant.

CTV News is a division of Bell Media, which is part of BCE Inc.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

Correction

A previous version of this story mistakenly had the height of the tower at 127 feet, not 127 metres.

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