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Large chunk of ice crashes through New Jersey family's roof: 'It's a wild card'

PATERSON, N.J. (WPIX) — A New Jersey family is picking up the pieces after a large chunk of ice fell from the sky and ripped through their attic.

While living under a busy flight path in Paterson, New Jersey — just 15 miles north of Newark — the roar of a jet engine is nothing new to the Gomez family. That was until Wednesday night, when a thunderous crash startled the family.

It was caused by a massive chunk of ice that rocketed through their roof.

“It went through the roof, hit the floor so hard it cracked the second-floor ceiling,” Paul Gomez, who bought the house just a few months ago, told Nexstar’s WPIX. “Luckily, we didn’t get hit.”

“We were sitting down, having a great time, eating with family, when out of nowhere we heard a helicopter noise,” his daughter, Sabrina, recalled. 

They all ran inside to their third floor and found destruction.

A review of nearby flights from Newark Airport around 9:42 p.m. shows several aircraft flew close by or right over their neighborhood.

“The police officer said it was probably from an airplane,” Gomez said.

A New Jersey family is picking up the pieces after a large chunk of ice fell from the sky and ripped through their attic on June 12, 2024. (Photo courtesy of Paul Gomez)

The Federal Aviation Administration is aware of the freak accident that experts believe came from an airplane. Accidental aircraft biohazard discharges that form into ice have happened but are rare, according to aviation experts.

“It’s a wild card here what caused this,” remarked Dr. Joe Schwieterman, a transportation professor at DePaul University who studies such phenomena. “A really unusual situation, but something about the chemistry of the plane, the water or lavatories or external from the plane. It’s scary stuff.”

The Gomez family said there was no odor left behind, and the ice had a bluish hue.

“It was kind of a bluish ice color, like an iceberg,” Sabrina explained. 

The FAA told WPIX it “generally” investigates incidents like this.

The damage from this “skyfall” could cost the family up to $20,000, Gomez said. “One in a million. One in a million. It just had to be my house.”

The FAA told the family it would be on site Monday to investigate, but for now, it would be up to his insurance to cover the bill.

Source: Fox 8 News Channel

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