Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Crane Failure at 110 3rd Ave.- Part 4

Above: The damaged restraining pocket with the 40000 lb.s of counterweights in place
Above : The damaged restraining pocket that held the five 8000 lb counterweights

For me , probably the most troubling problem of all with this event is the damaged steel restraining pocket which held the 40000 lb.s of counterweights. Whatever mistakes were made ,whatever important systems failed ,whatever incompetant or unlicensed operators were invovled, it is still this damaged restraining pocket that haunts me . The steel forming this pocket was not only just bent or crumpled it appears to have been torn . If the steel of this pocket had torn through completely the counterweights would certainly have fallen to ground leaving the crane seriously out of balance with the torque generated by the 14000 lb concrete cube resisted largely by the redish-orange frame surrounding the uppermost portion of the tower .This condition would have made it more likely that the crane or some portion of it would have been pulled over , toppling to ground .This was a disaster as it happened but if this restraining pocket had failed to hold the counterweights it would have been a much more serious disaster . We were just lucky this time .

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