Sterling Quarry Blast Sends Rocks Into Homes, Cars

A blast at a Loudoun County, Virginia, quarry sent rocks and debris smashing into nearby homes and cars, leaving one person injured Thursday morning.

Dwight Brooks said a huge rock from the quarry tore through the roof of his parents' house a half mile away and landed in a bedroom several feet from his brother's bed. Brooks said his brother, who was sleeping in the room, was cut by debris that fell from the ceiling and needed eight stitches. 

"If that had hit him, damage could have been much worse," Brooks said.

The debris came from a scheduled quarry blast, Loudoun County Fire and Rescue said. Falling debris damaged several structures and cars.

Security camera video shows a rock flying through the air and shattering glass in the nearby Fairfax Auto Parts store. Three large windows at the store were shattered when a rock went through the front of the store. 

Employees said they are used to the building shaking from nearby quarry blasts, but the size of these rocks was unprecedented.

Mike Quinn of Fairfax Auto Parts said he had "never in my wildest dreams" seen "the size rocks that we saw that came through the window."

At least a half dozen cars were damaged in the store's parking lot.

First-responders arrived in the area near the intersection of Old Ox Road and Oakgrove Road in Sterling shortly before 11 a.m.

County officials said only one person was injured in the blast.

Inspectors from the blasting company, Winchester Building Supply, surveyed the scene to try to determine what went wrong.

The Loudoun County Fire Marshal's Office and the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy were also called to the scene.

Residents who were affected can call the Virginia DMME at 434-951-6310.

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