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Crane causes building collapse

3. September 2015 | Comments (2)

A crane placing steelwork apparently caused the collapse of a steel structure at Bryant University, Smithfield, Rhode Island, USA on Tuesday injuring six men and crushing two boom lifts and a telehandler.

According to one of the steel erectors, the incident occurred when the operator of truck crane, helping the steel erector Barnes Buildings and Management to ‘plumb the steel structure’ for a new indoor sports practice pavilion - apparently applied too much pressure trying to pull the frame into position, causing the whole structure to collapse. Two steelworkers were working from a boom lift at a height of around nine metres, when the incident happened. The boom was overturned by the falling steel, but the two men were harnessed in and stayed with it as it went over. At least one other was harnessed to the steel work.

Smithfield Rhode Island
The steel work came down on several booms and a telehandler

None of the six - which included Jose Vierra , Michael Gehrke, Roberto Rios, Jaime Rivas, Fabrico Quintanilla, and Douglas Tejada – suffered life threatening injuries.

Three were treated at hospital and released, while three were reportedly held overnight but were said to be in good condition.

UPDATE
When Jose Vierra was released from hospital he stated that the witness statement claiming that the crane caused the incident was untrue and that the crane was not working when the building went over. Photographs showing the crane stood back from the incident would seem to corroborate Vierra's statement.
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Comments

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craniac M
3. September 2015 22:29

It seems curious that a collapse of this magnitude, if caused by a crane, would not have a crane nearer to (or straddling) the wreckage. Assuming a fast response by emergency services and the pending arrival of OSHA onsite, the crane would probably have been left as it was for some period of time while investigation took place. Since no crane appears with the wreckage, except for a couple parked onsite, it makes me wonder if the telehandler may have been the culprit and the emergency responders referred to it as a "crane" in error? A question that time and a thorough investigation will establish.
Regardless, I hope all injuries heal completely and quickly!

Brian
3. September 2015 10:30

It's a shame the crane operator has automatically been blamed for this incident.
a) He/she probably only applied the force he was instructed to.
b) The structure should not have needed to be plumbed in this way - any steel erector worth his salt would know this.

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