Crane Accidents

Two Injured when Lift Topples in Downtown Crossing

02/7/09

Boston, Massachusetts

Two workers were injured when a bucket lift tipped over in the city’s Downtown Crossing area and smashed into a vacant lot and the rear of another building, fire officials said.

Mobile Crane Collapse Boston, Massachusetts 2009

The conditions of the two workers were not immediately available, said Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald.

One worker was thrown into the other building, while the other fell two stories from the bucket in the incident, which was reported at 10:23 a.m., MacDonald said.

Mobile Crane Collapse Boston, Massachusetts 2009 (2)

The lift, parked in front of 10 West St., fell across West and into the parking lot next to the Brattle Book Shop, MacDonald said. The top of the lift smashed into the back of a building on Temple Place, the next street over, which runs parallel to West.

The yellow lift could be seen tipped over on its side with the bucket resting in the lot this morning. It was 117 feet tall, said District Fire Chief Ron Harrington.

It is unclear right now who the workers were employed by, MacDonald said.

Mobile Crane Collapse Boston, Massachusetts 2009 (3)A city building inspector is on the scene; investigators from the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration are on their way, MacDonald said.

Ken Gloss, owner of Brattle Book Shop, which uses the lot for an open air book fair, said six or seven people were browsing in the lot when the lift fell.

“They’re all fine,” he said.

“The thing is, with seven people looking at books in that lot, what are the odds that nobody got hurt?”

Gloss said the bucket of the crane smashed through a steel door in the back of the Temple Place building.

Mark Raab said he was watching a James Bond movie in his Temple Place apartment bedroom when he heard a noise too thunderous to be from the film.

“I heard the loud noise and I felt the building shake,” said Raab, 30. “I thought it was an explosion or something.”

Raab went out to his fourth-floor balcony and looked down at the destruction.

“The bucket of the crane broke. One piece was on the balcony below my apartment and the other piece actually landed right into the building,” Raab said. “I was shocked. I was trying to see if the person who was on the ground was alive or not. He was barely moving.”

“I could see one of them still breathing; the other [victim] was almost entirely into the building,” he said.

The building at 10 West is a Suffolk University residence hall. David J. Sargent, the university president, issued a statement, saying, “We are deeply concerned about two workers with the lift truck company who were hurt in the accident, and our thoughts and prayers are with those workers and their families.”

 

 

Category: Accident Report

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