Crane Accidents

Crane Mishap Posed No Danger


Buffalo, New York

An official of LP Ciminelli, managers for the Depew School District’s capital project, assured the Board of Education on Wednesday that “nobody was ever in danger” during a crane accident Monday at Cayuga Heights Elementary School.

Greg Baker said, “We’re sorry it happened,” adding that a representative of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration was on-site Wednesday to investigate and “no citations were issued.”

He said the crane boom hit scaffolding about 20 feet from the building while working on erecting steel for a new classroom between two wings of the elementary school. The crane tilted about 45 degrees.

Pepke Construction is the project’s general contractor but it couldn’t be learned Wednesday night which company was operating the crane. Baker said there was no damage to the building and no one was injured. Under OSHA rules, “the boom never goes over the building,” he added.

Cayuga Principal Robert Puchalski said pupils were evacuated for about 1z hours as a safety precaution, which included shutting off electricity to the building.

“Everything went according to plan,” he said, adding that he never felt pupils were in any danger “throughout the entire time.” Buildings and Grounds Superintendent John Wilson also was immediately at the scene.

Baker gave his report as part of an update on the estimated $33 million capital project, including renovations and additions to buildings and athletic fields.

In other business, the board accepted the donation of two softball dugouts from the Depew Softball Parent Group. According to Dan Seelig, varsity softball coach, and Greg Sobkowiack, a member of the parent group, about $5,000 to $7,000 has been raised to install the dugouts by next spring.

Category: Accident Report


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