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Drilling rig falls into river

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    PETERBOROUGH, New Hampshire (WMUR) — A drilling rig tipped over at a construction site in Peterborough on Thursday morning and fell into the Contoocook River.

The massive rig was stuck on its side as it slid down the river embankment. It was being used in construction work on the Route 202 bridge.

“This machine was working to set piles in the bank that will be used to create that retaining wall,” said Peterborough fire Chief Ed Walker.

The machine operator was not hurt, and once he was freed from the rig, firefighters worked to prevent further damage.

“We were able to stop the fuel, additional fuel from leaking into the ground,” Walker said. “We deployed the fire department boat to set up some booms and capture any fuel that spilled into the river.”

Town officials said it will take some time to get the rig upright and removed. Walker said it looks like most of the damage was to equipment.

“The bank is still intact. The roadway that the crane was operating on is still intact,” he said. “It was on heavy timbers. Those timbers are still in place.”

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