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Address mix-up: Aus demolition crew destroy wrong house

In a colossal gaffe, a demolition crew in Australia mistakenly flattened a businessman’s home instead of the one next door after a mix-up over wrong house number on letter box.

Steve Ballas, a businessman from Sydney suburb, could not believe it when a friend rang to tell him an excavator was tearing into his three-bedroom property.

“I said ‘well, you probably have the wrong house because there is a house next door that is meant to be getting demolished and he said ‘nah, nah it’s yours’,” he was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph.

By the time he rushed over, there was not much left.

“I drove up there to have a look and saw obviously there was a bulldozer going through the house, so I called the police and notified the council and I didn’t go and interrupt those guys until the police got there and then obviously the police took over and took an incident report and so on,” Ballas said.

The colossal mix-up happened when demolition workers got instructions to level 200 Marion St, and went to work on the house matching that letterbox number.

But the letterbox was numbered incorrectly and they were actually destroying number 198, a property owned by Ballas since 2001. Canterbury-Bankstown Council confirmed the real number 200, right next door, had been approved for demolition to make way for a two-storey duplex.

“I grew up two doors up from that house and I’ve always known it to be 200 and that same letterbox has been there for 50 years so I don’t know why I would think otherwise,” he said. 

Property records show Ballas at one point also owned number 200, before selling it for 915,000 dollars last year.

Ballas said he felt bad for the demolition company owner, Daniel Mandarano, who had been “crucified” for a “little mistake”.

“That guy is a family man too, he gets up every morning to make ends meet and get on with his life like everyone else and unfortunately this little mistake and he is made to look like a murderer and a criminal,” Ballas said.
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