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Giant boulder breaks loose, crushing cars, home in Ohio


If you're having a rough day you might take some consolation from this: at least your cars and home weren't hit by a rogue boulder.

That's what happened Tuesday night to a family in Athens, Ohio, when the boulder -- about 25 feet in diameter -- broke free from a hillside and gravity took over. The boulder knocked down phone, power and cable lines as it rolled, and only stopped after crushing the cars and tearing off part of the family's home, AthensOhioToday.com reported.

Luckily, no one in the family was hurt, as they all were in another part of the home. The family members were not identified but officials said they and a neighboring family were evacuated until crews can assess the home and nearby hillside.

A witness recalled seeing sparks fly as the boulder took out power lines.

"At first I thought it was thunder," Mary Diles said of the rumbling sound. "Then I saw sparks and thought it was firecrackers."

The boulder even severed a waterline underneath the neighborhood's street.

As for what led to the boulder's destructive journey, Andy Stone, the city's public works chief, said it looks like a combination of tree roots and heavy rain allowed the rock to break free.

Removing the boulder from the cars and house, he added, will require breaking it up into smaller pieces.

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