Crane Accidents

Crane Collapses at Farmland Industries


Lawrence, Kansas

Workers at Farmland Industries spent Saturday afternoon moving a collapsed crane that buckled in a Friday morning accident.

Plant manager Dick Lind said an outside contractor was lifting a high case compressor into the nitrogen fertilizer plant’s troubled compressor building when the crane collapsed.

The crane already had lifted a low case compressor into the building Friday before it gave way.

“At 10:45 a.m., he was making the second lift of the day,” Lind said. “The boom on the crane buckled and his compressor landed on top of some pipes in our pipe alley.”

In July, the compressor building was rocked by two explosions, the second of which knocked out part of the building’s northeast side. The building’s safety systems were able to contain the hydrogen gas-fed blazes in both incidents, and no one was injured.

In November, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the company for the production-halting July explosions.

In Friday’s accident, the crane operator for Building Erection Services of Olathe was attempting to move the 10-ton compressor through a hole in the roof and into the building. No one was injured when the compressor was dropped. Lind said he did not know how much damage was caused to the equipment or the building.

“He brought in another crane, and our piece of equipment was taken off the pipes,” Lind said.

“It was put on a truck last night and shipped to Tulsa, where it is being analyzed for any damage or anything else.”

He said an investigation will begin Monday morning into the accident.

“We’ll have engineers taking a look at what damage there may be to other pipes or pieces of equipment,” he said.

Category: Accident Report

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