Tuesday, August 26, 2008

August 24th, 2008

Phillipines Tower crane collapsed during crane erection. Four workers on top have survived but are seriously injured. Details are scarce at the moment and I will add more as soon as they surface.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

August 20th, 2008

Manresa, Spain Tower crane collapses either in the mast or foundation. Hopefully more pictures will show up in the next few days for a better description. The jib ended up destroying a house accross the street. The elderly couple in the home escaped serious injury and the operator also lived but was injured.

Link to a news video in Spain. I don't know if you learn any more if you don't speak Spanish, but if you do... http://www.elpais.com/articulo/espana/personas/resultan/heridas/leves/caer/grua/vivienda/Manresa/elpepuesp/20080819elpepunac_13/Tes

The story was found on http://www.vertikal.net/     colapso de la torre de la grĂșa

Friday, August 15, 2008

December 27th 2001

Tianshui China a tower crane collapsed near a school killing five including four children. 19 others were hospitalized with 90 suffering minor injuries. The crane crashed onto a school and managed to crash through three floors. The story is that it was unloading soil. Soil weights vary by compaction, water content, aggregate composition... were the limits properly set? I know I've had discussions about limits with reportedly "reputable" companies here in Seattle where they were more or less asking me to bypass them. Would a person in China say no and not be replaced? In my case the pick was around 9000 lbs and we needed less than another 200 lbs to make the pick. The crane is structurally capable of making the pick, but you cannot make the adjustment. It's criminally neglegent to do so and this story might be a good example of why.
Story link

May 12th 2008

Sichuan China suffers a 7.9 or 8.0 earthquake. Buildings collapsed all over the place but many tower cranes survived the shaking. I've only been able to find one that had it's jib buckle and heard of one Sun Crane that suffered a 10 meter crack. Given the size of the earthquake I'd be impressed if it wasn't for it being China and much of the information didn't get out due to people just trying to get drinking water and not having technology or even caring about it at that moment. Hopefully this was all of the damage but I suppose we'll never know.

April 1 2002

National Geographic with cleaner video of one of the cranes coming down. Note that it strikes the crane on the grounds jib as well! Watch that this work and survive. Now consider that this crane also lost it's counterweights. I would have never guessed that it would survive the shock and loss of counterweights. The jobsite was struck by a 6.8 magnitude earthquake while building Taipei 101. The cranes appear to be Favelle Favco's and I will assume that they were being bottom climbed menaing that they were supported by the concrete floors below and wedged in them. During the earthquaked the floor are trying to keep them selves together. Add on 500,000 lbs of crane and a failure is likely. These cranes were up to the 56th flioor. Given the carnage, we are lucky that only five people died.

Video showing both cranes coming down, in poor quality from two angles.

July 10th 2008

Rotterdam Netherlands, What appears to be a Wilbert WT 300 collapses while working on constructing a new building. Stories vary claiming that the operator swung out of the way of workers then somehow managed to jump safely to the 17th floor before the crane fully collapsed. Another report says that he died. Having an operator jump from the crane to the building would be an amazing story if we could confirm it. Sounds like a James Bond Casino Royale tower crane action scene. If a crane is in danger of collapse then you try to quickly swing or boom up, you would induce more damage to the crane than what may have been there causing you to think that there was a problem in the first place. As operators our exposure is imminent and everyone is much safer if we take a moment to discover the problem rather than make rash judgements. Maybe this is a case of him being a hero, but sometimes critical damage does not mean that the crane is going to fall if it is properly handled. I don't have any details as to why the crane would have failed, but one point of failure is certainly the mast.

December 2nd 2003

Rotterdam Netherlands. Tower crane collapses Killing one and injuring two.

July 7th, 2005

Hong Kong, Potain collapsed. Fortunately no one died in this case, but the operator was injured.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

First Construction tower crane links

Some of the first construction tower cranes were developed by Wolffkran and Potain. Hans Liebherr developed the TK 8 after WWII to rebuild Europe. It was the first to be easily transported and set up. Other large hammer heads of the day were huge and powerful, but it took months to build them versus a two day or less turnaround.
I'll add more links to this post


Monday, August 11, 2008

September 28th, 2007

Shanxi China. 1 died in an apparent climbing accident. The blue frame pinned off to the turntable with the tower slung out there like cord wood and none attached pretty much confirms it. It's likely to be safe to suggest that the dead is the operator from the looks of the cab.

April 12th, 2007

Toronto Canada, Kroll Luffer looses a jib during a wind storm. No deaths are reported and outside of the crane damage the only other damage reported was the power lines being taken out.
How many luffers loose jibs during winds? Is it not setting up the right radius to weather vane at night?



Great series of older cranes going back to the begining of construction tower cranes.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

August 5th, 2008

I don't know anything about these accidents. I was searching my computer for other pics and ran across them. A hazard of being busy and forgetting about them.
One is a crossbased crane. I really don't understand why we don't just have these cranes ballasted. They go over all of the time. If I'm a liar, I suggest you review the blog.
The second is of an apparent shock load. Do not pull on stuck loads. I've went for a ride once when a shotcrete pile (spoils) was stuck. I had stopped hoisting and was telling the rigger over the radio that it was stuck when it broke free. The pile went over the riggers head. Who knows why this crane was shock loaded, but this is the result. Fortunately the crane stayed vertical!