Large crane falls and crashes into ground while workers run for safety


Originally published at:


Holy crap. A couple of those guys weren’t out of the fall radius in time. Just lucky to not be under it. Crane failures are one of those things that should just never happen. The engineering is easy. The safety factors well defined.


Man, I bet they hate it when that happens.


The issue is that the operator was lowering something, looks like a compressor, at the edge of the lifting chart. Just look at the size of the boom and the jib on the end, he was working at a huge radius. Probably too lazy to move closer into the position to get the system back into a stable state.

Or he was loiwering the load and booming down at the same time and just went off the load chart levels. Operator error, and more probably a site rep error where he told the crane guy to stay where he was and just lower that damn load.

Good to see no one was hurt, but when you’;re working at the limits like that, it’s easy to fuck up when you think something is lighter or closer than it really is.


This is the kind of thing that gives me nightmares as heavy construction is Mr. Kidd’s daily life.


You would think to run perpendicular to the direction of the fall, but maybe it was difficult to tell. Just run like hell!


Okay, who else read the headline and thought “whooping or sandhill?” No? Just me?


You would think it was easy to think straight and optimize an escape route while in a panic. Maybe it’s not so easy. They should practice more crane falls perhaps.


This is why we pay attention in math class. Unless there is some unexpected failure of a critical component, such situations can almost always be avoided with math.
The critical component failures can be prevented through careful inspection, maintenance, and testing.
I have investigated or witnessed several catastrophic lifting failures, and every one of them was preventable, and would not have happened if the operator or manager had just followed the rules.


Or just stand there. :yum:


Pink shirt at about 13 seconds in: “I wonder why everyone is running away, Oh, I see, a giant crane has just hit the ground behind me. I guess I will calmly walk away for a bit…”


Long ago when I pushed an idiot stick* for a living, one of the older guys came over and said “Kid, you don’t ever have to work under a crane, no matter what the foreman says. Don’t let them bully you.”

* An idiot stick is a stick with a shovel blade on one end and an idiot on the other.


Odds are he was doing something noisy and didn’t hear any of the commotion, shouting, etc until after he nearly became a casualty. The stuff of nightmares for sure.


I once had a coworker improperly move a crane load of heavy steel pipe (about 30x60’, 3.5" diameter) over my head while I was at a workbench. The factory was extremely loud with multiple compressors, and I didn’t hear a thing until the entire load crashed to the ground about 6 feet to my right.

We had some words. That night I thought - this sucks, I need to go to college.


Good thing no stinkin union was taking away those workers’ rights, forcing them into boring safety regulations…


The guy at the bottom right is still running.


More like a couple of those guys failed Pink Panther safety crash course 101: run PERPENDICULAR to the falling crane, not parallel to it! Sheesh!


I’ll say it for you: that fucking idiot!!!


When I was young and did not know better, I took a job on an anchor handling tug in the Gulf of Mexico oil fields. The oil rig would use their crane to lower a big steel buoy down to the tug’s deck, and my job was to go under it and hook up a 35 ton shackle to the bottom of the buoy. Here is what it looks like in daylight, and calm weather-
But we were doing it mostly at night, and during very severe weather, when the rigs were blowing off station. Every once in a while, the tug would rise on the seas and WHAM!, the buoy would slam into the deck. And seas were washing over the deck from the sides and rear. The idiot captain would not let us wear life jackets, because it would supposedly slow us down when we scrambled under the buoy.
So I am out there, in the middle of the night, trying to time the seas so that I could hook this shackle onto the bottom of the buoy. The shackle weighed 50 pounds. And I was supposed to lift it over my head in order to attach it to the buoy, which we were constantly rising up to and dropping down from. When we were swept by a particularly large wave, the shackle was washed out of my grip and over the side. That ended it for me. When we next got into what they call a port, I was finished forever with tug boats.


Good for you for quitting. I have also quit shitty, unsafe jobs on the spot. Nothing quite on the level you described, but unsafe nonetheless.