Astounding footage has hit the internet today showing two cranes toppling onto a row of buildings in the Dutch city of Alphen ann den Rijn. The cranes were stationed on a pontoon and were undertaking the restoration of a bridge at the time. Click here for the video.
It is understood that up to 20 people may have been injured, and the Dutch Safety Board has sent a team to the scene.
In December last year, we blogged about 2014 being the ‘Year of unstable cranes‘, which saw:
- a crane falling into a building in Christchurch,
- another toppling sideways in Blenheim,
- a crane lifting a boat off a trailer falling through an Auckland home, and
- (also in the Netherlands) a crane that was suspending a man while he proposed to his girlfriend toppling into the neighbour’s house.
Realistically these incidents are few and far between – especially considering the number of cranes in operation at any given time. However, the potential for serious harm is huge. Luckily no fatalities, and few injuries, were recorded in relation to the 2014 incidents. With significant changes to NZ’s health and safety regime on the horizon, contractors, site owners and crane operators should remain mindful of such risks.