Crane Collapses During National Cathedral Earthquake Stabilization

Looking like something out of a cartoon scene, a construction crane collapsed at the National Cathedral today landing with 350 feet of extended boom on the ground and the cab rotated 90 degrees into the air.  Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt when the crane crushed several vehicles and grazed Herb Cottage.  Stretched out in almost a straight line, the crane narrowly missed a construction worker who was in his truck but managed to jump out when he spotted the crane cab tipping.  

The 500 ton crane was on site to lift structural steel members that were part of an earthquake stabilization effort including netting that was planned as a safety feature for any potential falling masonry that might dislodge before permanent repairs can be completed.  At the time of the collapse, the crane had just released a steel beam and was returning for another pick when it fell crushing at least two vehicles and the building that houses the gift shop on the cathedral campus.

Investigation of the collapse is continuing by engineers and construction workers on site.  Specialists for the crane manufacturer are traveling to the site to participate in the investigation and dismantling of the fallen crane.  As is common in these cases, investigators will look at a number of possible causes including, but not limited to; mechanical malfunction, operator error, impact of the weather (winds and rain was reported during the general time frame of the event), over extension of the crane, loss of ground support at the cab due to soft or water saturated soil conditions or even a combination of factors.


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2 Responses to “Crane Collapses During National Cathedral Earthquake Stabilization”

  1. National Crane
    February 10, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    Thanks for information.
    This is really nice blog.
    Keep it up in future also.


    • mkev
      February 10, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

      Thanks for the comments and vote of confidence. I have some future posts planned for cranes, safety, lessons learned from accidents etc. If you have something special in mind you would like to see or if you are interested in a guest blog post, let me know. Regards. Kevin

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