Counterweight fell from crane say authorities
Dubai Municipality authorities investigating the fatal tower crane accident in Dubai in October have said that the accident was caused by human error, rather than equipment failure, GulfNews has reported.
The crane’s 2.5 tonne counterweight is said to have fallen from the crane, crushing the mast and support panel below, collapsing the crane structure and killing several workers.
“The crane’s counterweight was tilted at a dangerously steep slope and because of its heavy weight, fell down at a height of 45 metres onto the concrete slab [where the construction employees were working],” said Moawya Abdul Rahman, head of the structural engineering unit at Dubai Municipality, according to the newspaper.
“The slab was broken due to the force, and then broke everything in its path while dropping to the floor — killing the workers in the process.”
Human error is suspected to be at fault. All tower cranes in use on construction sites in Dubai are inspected, and the municipality had deemed the equipment on the Downtown Dubai site safe, said Abdul Rahman.
“All construction companies have to adhere to the latest revised Code of Construction Safety Practice of 2011, otherwise hefty penalties will be imposed.This type of accident is a rare one as we take the safety of workers very seriously, and according to the preliminary report, we suspect that it was the mistake of the crane operator.”
The accident occurred as the crane was being climbed, with a specialist crane team on the ground beneath the crane, inside the mast section, and the operator in the cabin.
“The crane was on standby and was steady. We were under the crane inside the mast section, when the incident happened. Our team had several members. The crane operator was sitting on top and the crane was not moving. All of a sudden, I saw part of the crane coming down on us. We scampered for cover, but there was no time,” a Filipino crane technician, Roberto, injured in the accident, told Gulf News.
Most of the construction workers on the site had already left for the day when the accident occurred, suggesting that the number of injuries and fatalities could have been higher had the accident occurred during the main day shift.
Crane operator death in Abha
Meanwhile a Pakistani crane operator was killed in Abha, south west Saudi Arabia, reported the Saudi Gazette.
The man was operating a heavy mobile crane when it tipped over, with a photo suggesting that the land underneath one or more of the supports subsided.
Teams from the Civil Defense and Red Crescent arrived at the location with heavy machinery to rescue the worker.
He was transferred to a nearby hospital in critical condition, but did not survive his injuries.