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Fatal crane collapse in Lódz

18. September 2017 | Comments (3)

A crane operator died on Friday in Lódz, Poland, when the tower crane he was operating - from the top cab - dropped its jib and then overturned rearwards.

?ód?
The crane's tower came down across the street, thankfully there we no cars passing underneath at the time


Lódz
The crane had a counterweighted base

The operator 22, said to be on his first job as a crane operator, was taken to hospital but died on Saturday from his injuries. A report from the scene said that the jib of the crane – an old Wolff WK-91 with a counterweighted foundation and owned by crane rental company Herkules – collapsed after the mid jib suspension rods gave way. The jib then dropped and the crane became unstable, overturning backwards, with the tower dropping across the street. The counter jib struck the ground and with the crane then going over onto its side onto a couple of cars. The cab was not completley crushed, but the operator was badly injured. (ADDITIONAL VIDEO ADDED - See comment below)

Lódz
A view of the scene from the upper floors of a building next to where the crane came down (source Lodz Post)

Above photo source - Lodz Post - http://lodzpost.com



The fall was captured on video.


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Comments

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Mike74
20. September 2017 07:37

I stand corrected. Actually, later I saw a preliminary post-accident raport, eyewitnesses (construction workers) statements included. And they shed alot of light at the case. The crane's jib started to break to the right side when crane was slewing in that direction. To me it seems that one of the bolts fastening the jib must have fallen out, the one from the left side. So, when operator started to brake the slewing by applying reverse braking to the left, the forwad part of the jib continued moving fster to the right, finally breakijng the jib close to the suspender attaching point, from the tower's side. The rest followed as it had to. I can only add that the crane has all papers in order, including the date of last monthly technical examination. Which still does not make it a single year younger than 25 it was. And fianlly, it may bo worth noticing, that Wolff's, at least WK-91's, seem to be strangely prone to such kind of accidents, as I've heared from completely reliable sources of at least one that went down because of jib fasteninng bolt getting loose (some years ago in Warsaw, though the circumstances were not identical, the cause was) I've also heared that one WK-91 already went down in Polad on january this way, but that I will have to confirm. Anyway, I woulld call it allarming.

Float your load
19. September 2017 17:23

Mike - Look carefully at the jib at the start of the film clip - it does hang down but there is a slight dog-leg in it which suggests it has failed at the point of collapse. It can be a bit tricky to see as there is a lot happening at once in the clip.

Its very saddening to see the driver trying to exit his cab as the tower gives way, you can barely imagine what must be going through his mind as the crane goes over, indeed you wonder if he was braced in his padded seat and took the same fall if his injuries would have been serious, but not fatal. Certainly feel so very sorry for his family, especially when their son's death is out there on public media as it is here.

Mike74
18. September 2017 09:05

There is another movie, a pretty detailed one, shot from a window of the neighboring house. It seems, that the jib did not break initially, but only later - at the beginning, it appears to be hanging downward in one, straight piece. The movie aslo shows quite clearly, that at the moment of collapse, the crane man was trying to exit the cab via the roof latch, which, in my opinion, diminished his chances of surviving. The load that the crane drags during the fall does not appear to be particularly heavy. And sure it is a machnine owned by Herkules, their logo displayed prominently. It is a very big company, perhaps a biggest crane-renting company in Poland. They sport a huge fleet of mostly modern cranes - Terex_Comedils, Jasos and recently Potains as well. This mus have been one of their older machines. A link to the mentioned movie is: https://youtu.be/x4OW4WtVsPE

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