Dutchman tries to propose, destroys house

A picture taken on Dec 13, 2014 in IJsselstein shows a crane which fell down onto the roof of a house. The incident occurred when a man tried to surprise his girlfriend by proposing from the top of the crane, which then toppled on to the house, thoug
A picture taken on Dec 13, 2014 in IJsselstein shows a crane which fell down onto the roof of a house. The incident occurred when a man tried to surprise his girlfriend by proposing from the top of the crane, which then toppled on to the house, though no injuries were reported. -- PHOTO: AFP

THE HAGUE (AFP) - An over-amorous Dutchman became a homewrecker - literally - when a crane he was using to have himself lowered into his girlfriend's garden for a marriage proposal fell through the neighbour's roof.

The unnamed man hired a crane in the central town of Ijsselstein to lower him over his girlfriend's house and into her garden for the surprise proposal early on Saturday morning, emergency services spokesman Jelle Mulder told AFP.

"The crane the man wanted to use to propose fell on a house. During the attempt to right it, the crane unfortunately slipped and fell on the house again," Mulder said.

Neighbouring houses have been evacuated and the huge crane is still on top of the house.

"We're looking at the best way to lift the crane without it falling again," said Mulder.

The would-be fiance jumped to safety and no one else was hurt, Mulder said.

"The people in the house the crane fell on are deeply shocked," he said.

The authorities will decide if the house needs to be demolished after the crane is lifted.

Despite the fiasco, the girlfriend accepted the marriage proposal, Dutch media reported, and the couple has now gone on holiday.

"They had a trip to Paris planned and the police told them that there was no reason to cancel," said Mulder.

"I don't know if they've gone."