A crane that smashed into the roof of a semi-detached house causing thousands of pounds in damage was removed from the wrecked building at the weekend - and it took three other cranes to lift it.

The 120-tonne crane was pulled upright by the other cranes, but it had to be left in the street where the accident happened because its jib could not be retracted.

Engineers are hoping to solve the problem, which is thought to be connected to the machine's hydraulics, and to be able to take it away today.

The recovery effort began on Saturday and was completed early yesterday.

For a few hours on Saturday, trains were cancelled on part of the Tyne and Wear Metro, which runs close by, in case anything went wrong and debris ended up on the line. They were replaced with buses.

The crane toppled over and crashed into the roof of a house in Coniston Avenue, Fulwell, Sunderland, on Friday, while it was delivering a large hot tub.

It sank into the ground while it was lifting the Jacuzzi, which is big enough for ten people, into the garden of the house.

The crane's arm sliced through the roof - a neighbouring house was also damaged - and came to rest on the bedroom floor.

No one was hurt as the owner and his family were out, but a rabbit hutch was flattened.

Luckily firefighters were able to rescue a guinea pig and rabbit from the debris.

Twenty homes in the area were evacuated as a precaution because of the risk of falling debris and fears that the accident had caused a gas leak from a ruptured mains.

The family who live in the house have been staying in a hotel.