Crane Accidents

Crane Collapses, Cutting Off Man’s Leg

09/16/98

San Francisco, California

Construction Worker Hit by Giant Steel Cage

A construction worker’s leg was severed yesterday when a giant cage-like steel structure fell on him during work on San Francisco International Airport’s grand expansion.

Dan Chipparone, 23, was helping guide a reinforcing steel cage that was being lowered by a crane onto a concrete foundation when the crane’s 150-foot boom collapsed, said Mike McCarron, operations superintendent at SFO.

The 60-foot cage, which is used to form concrete pillars for overpasses and freeway ramps, struck Chipparone, severing his right leg and part of his left foot, McCarron said. The boom then crushed a cement mixer and a pick-up truck.

“They were lifting the cage and putting it into position and somehow the crane failed and fell,” McCarron said.

Chipparone was flown by helicopter to Stanford Medical Center, where he was in serious condition yesterday, said hospital communications officer Walter Hangad. Hangad declined to comment on whether doctors have been able to reattach Chipparone’s leg.

Following surgery, Chipparone remained in serious condition last night in the hospital’s intensive care unit, a nursing supervisor said. She declined to provide further details until his family had been briefed on his condition.

Chipparone, an employee of Benicia-based Alamillo Steel, was part of a construction team building a new Highway 101 on-ramp at the site of the former SFO Hilton.

Alamillo Steel and the company that owns the crane, CC Myers Inc. of Rancho Cordova, declined to comment on the accident.

Work was suspended at the SFO site as California Occupation Safety and Health personnel conducted an investigation into the accident.

Cal-OSHA spokesman Dean Fryer said CC Myers Inc. has received about 10 serious citations for accidents in the past seven years. The most serious accident occurred in 1991, when a crane operator was killed at a Los Angeles construction site.

The crane was later found to be overloaded, Fryer said.

Category: Accident Report

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