Liebherr says ground instability to blame for Brazil stadium collapse not crane

Liebherr says that data logger that had not recorded data for a year by the time of the accident also not to blame

Liebherr believes the accident was not caused by mechanical failure.

Liebherr believes the accident was not caused by mechanical failure.

German crane manufacturer Liebherr says that its crane was not responsible for the accident at the Itaquerao Stadium in Brazil which claimed the lives of two people in November. 

According to the company, all investigations conducted to date by the Liebherr crane experts (including those at the accident site) have shown that the Type LR 11350 crane had no technical defects and that instead the ground was not sufficiently stable for crane travel with a suspended load on the day of the accident.

“The ground under the crane evidently gave way, the crane sank and in doing so reached an inclined position at which it was not allowed to operate,” reads the statement. “The excessively inclined position caused massive overloading of the crane, which led to the fracture of some of its components and following this to collapse of the complete load-bearing structure. An independent, internationally acknowledged crane expert has come to the same conclusions.

“Analysis of the data logger by Liebherr showed that it had not been recording data since November 2012. This fact can be retraced by the parties involved, since the data were jointly copied and handed over immediately after the data logger had been recovered. However, a data logger can never influence crane functions and certainly not cause any accidents since it is simply a device that records data.”

“Furthermore, the cause of the accident as determined by Liebherr’s analysis can be confirmed by subsequent static-load calculations. Liebherr assumes that all the reports currently being prepared about the accident will not reach any different conclusions.

“Liebherr is extremely saddened by this tragic accident and the two fatalities, and expresses its deep sympathy to their families. As the crane manufacturer Liebherr continues to do everything in its power to help bring the accident investigation to a speedy and logical conclusion and expects the parties directly involved in the accident to do the same. Liebherr will also continue to cooperate closely with the Brazilian authorities.”

Police authorities in Brazil have said their investigation will examine whether the accident was caused by mechanical failure, human error or environmental damage caused by heavy rains. This process is yet to be publicly concluded.

Crane operator Jose Walter Joachim was reported to have gone into hiding after police questioning. Media in Brazil claims the Labour Ministry representative Luis Antonio Medeiros said that labour cards showed he had “was 18 days without any break”. However Medeiros suggested there wasn’t definite cause and effect relationship between the accident and the operator’s workload.




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