Mystery metal crashes into home, possibly identified by KIRO 7 viewers

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SEATTLE - A KIRO-7 investigation revealed a possible link between a heavy hunk of metal that crashed through the roof of a South Seattle home—and an industrial machine from a nearby business.

KIRO-7 viewers identified the Seattle police photo of the metal bar as a bit from a machine called a "tub grinder." A tub grinder is used to pulverize wood and construction debris into shreds. The "bit" is the part that grinds the material, like the spinning blades in a blender.

On Sunday, the hunk of metal fell from the sky, crashed through the roof of a home, smashed through the ceiling, and dented the second-story floor.

"It made a very loud sound, and it could have killed my brother-in-law," said Bory Ouk, translating for his Cambodian-speaking family. "It made a big hole through the ceiling of my mother's bedroom," Ouk said.

Ouk figured the heavy-metal hunk came from a nearby recycling plant, where a grinder is used to shred wood. "We didn't ask them, but maybe you could go over there and say we have damage, and an insurance deductible," Ouk said to a KIRO-7 reporter.

When KIRO-7 went to the plant to relay the message and ask questions, workers escorted them out, closed the gate, and locked it. "Cops know all about it, I'm not talking to you guys," said an unidentified worker.

Photos of the metal object released by SPD were remarkably similar to photo-links submitted by viewers, showing tub-grinder bits.

The state Department of Labor and Industries told KIRO-7 they were likely going to begin an investigation into the damage.