Falling from the sky: Maine State Capitol security worker narrowly misses falling scrap metal

“It does make you think your life can change in a split second with something like that.”
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 6:38 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) - On Friday, a six- to seven-pound metal cylinder fell from the sky right outside the Maine State Capitol, landing a few feet from a Maine State Capitol security worker.

“It does make you think your life can change in a split second with something like that,” said security screener Craig Donahue.

It was early on a sunny afternoon and Donahue was returning from his lunch break, on what started as a totally normal, enjoyable day.

“I went to my favorite hot dog stand, got two hot dogs and some fries, I was coming back to work, had to go to the credit union it was free ice cream day,” Donahue said.

As he was approaching the capitol building, he was startled when he heard something crash on the concrete.

“I was looking down and I heard this loud bang,” Donahue said.

Two other people were nearby when it happened. By the time they looked up, searching for a cause, there wasn’t anything in the sky.

“We looked on top of the building and there was nobody and it was too heavy for someone to throw from somewhere,” Donahue said.

They picked up the object and found grease inside. At first, Donahue thought it was a loose part from a space satellite, but it wasn’t hot so he quickly dismissed that theory. He thinks it’s probably from an airplane that was passing overhead.

“It’s hard to believe,” Donahue said. “I get it. I’ve heard the chicken little comments like the sky is falling, the sky is falling.”

The Federal Aviation Administration has opened an investigation. They say it could be from a large aircraft passing overhead on an international route.

Donahue is taking the brush with mortality in stride and with good humor. His coworkers gave him a hard hat as a funny gift to mark the experience.

“I look up and I just laugh because what are the chances of that ever happening again,” Donahue said.

He’s not too rattled by the experience, but it is inspiring to slow down and appreciate the little things in life, because all of it could have been gone in an instant.

“That would’ve killed me,” Donahue said. “It just makes you appreciate things more.”

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