Sunday, June 15, 2008

November 17th, 1989

San Francisco, 5 dead, 22 injured. A Peiner luffing crane collapsed while climbing at an elevation of 343 feet. Since the accident it was agreed that the climber was binding on the tower section. If a tower crane is not square to the tower and balanced, the loading spread between the tower and climber will not be even and focused on the designed location. For one reason or another the crew decided that it would be ok to slew the superstructure. Doing so applies torque forces on the ouside of the tower section at a point not designed to recive those forces. The torque applied at these points caused the tower to buckle and rip away from the mast causing the super structure to no longer be supported.

In all of this there is one good thing to report... there was a school bus crushed with the driver inside being one of the fatalities. Fortunately this was not a loaded school bus.

As a result California has been inspecting their cranes since the early 90's. Their crane fatalies have dropped dramatically and I am not aware of another collapse in California since then. Inspection will not catch everything, but as California shows, it will reduce deaths.

If anyone can find any pictures of this accident I'd be very interested in seeing them as I have never found one.

1 comment:

everyday joe said...

Hi Gaytor,
To this day I can still hear the roar of the 1989 crane in SF falling. I also remember the still just after and the people who rushed from their office's to see what happen. I am a Photographer and I have 15 to 20 photo's of that morning. I've never showed anyone all of the photo's I took, they are unpublished. If you are still interrested in seeing photos from this accident Please let me know. I still tear-up when talking about my 30seconds from Death as it is like yesterday. PEACE Joe