Earthquake brings down eagle sculpture at New Zealand airport

Jan. 20, 2014 at 3:38 PM
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WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Workers and customers at a New Zealand airport's food court said no one was injured when an earthquake brought a "Hobbit" inspired eagle statue to the ground.

Witnesses at the Wellington Airport food court during the 6.2 magnitude earthquake just prior to 4 p.m. Monday caused the suspended eagle sculpture, which has a 50-foot wingspan, to crash to the ground, the (Wellington) Dominion Post reported Monday.

Lauren Stone, 19, a Victoria University student, said she and a friend were sitting underneath the eagle when it fell.

"It started shaking heaps and rattling so we jumped under the table," she said. "The eagle fell on top of us."

Stone said the eagle's wing knocked the table over and she was struck on the head.

Wellington Airport spokesman Greg Thomas said it was lucky no one was seriously injured by the sculpture, dubbed Gwaihir the Windlord and installed at the airport in December to promote "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." He said an engineering inspection will be carried out.

A second eagle statue and a statue of "Hobbit" character Gollum remain suspended over the food court and the area has been cordoned off for safety, officials said.

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