Long-term water damage blamed for deadly house collapse

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey house collapse that killed a woman and seriously injured her two daughters apparently was caused by long-term water damage.

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A report issued Tuesday by Hamilton Township's Division of Engineering cites water penetration and aging materials as the main factors in the Monday morning collapse. The report says water penetration through an exterior wall spurred extensive deterioration that caused a block to disintegrate, resulting in several floor joists slipping off their supports.

Authorities say 38-year-old Tika Justice shielded her 16-year-old daughter as the house came down. The teenager and her 20-year-old sister survived the collapse but remain hospitalized.
The names of Justice's daughters and details of their conditions have not been released.

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