Friday, March 27, 2009

March 27, 2009

Nizhny Novgorod, Russia Tower crane collapses onto an adjacent apartment building collapsing the entire apartment killing a mother and child. Ten others were injured in the collapse. The crane is an older self erecting type. The base appears to be stable and the failure appears to have happened in the mast. Self-erectors like this use cables to tension pendants that pull the top of the back to create back moment. If you look at the rest of this crane, the rest of the maintenance doesn't look good. Corrosion on the tower makes me wonder about how the rest of the crane was maintained. If that tensioning cable breaks, this would be the result. There are certainly other possibilities, but given stable ground, the failure point, and poor maintenance, it's my first guess. These things need to be inspected regularly. It won't 100% prevent this, but it saves lives even if there isn't a way to quantify it.

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