Crane Accidents

Crane Crash Injures One in Cohocton


New York

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be investigating a crane collapse at the First Wind project in Cohocton following the Monday afternoon accident that hospitalized the crane’s operator.

Wayland-based state police responded to the project at around 12:30 p.m. Monday at the site of Turbine No. 16, located off of Wheaton Road in the Town of Cohocton. Town officials, troopers and First Wind officials stated a crane, owned by subcontractor Barnhart Crane and Rigging, a Memphis, Tenn.-based firm working on the project, collapsed.

Barnhart company officials confirmed the accident involved one of its cranes and an employee, but forwarded all other questions to First Wind.

Lamontagne said he did not know the name of the crane operator who was injured. Officials said the man was treated at Noyes Memorial Hospital in Dansville for minor injuries and was released.

The crane is one of two being operated in Cohocton for the repair work, according to Lamontagne previously. Work on the blades started in May — less than five months after the project was placed online. Lamontagne previously said 19 of the 50 turbines needed blade reinforcement, but Clipper Wind, the manufacturer of the blades, would reinforce the blades on all of the turbines. Work was expected to be completed this fall.

Joe Bob, code enforcement officer for the Town of Cohocton, said he went to the site with town Supervisor Jack Zigenfus Monday afternoon to inspect the damage.

“They tell us that they were bringing it down. They were getting ready to move it,” Bob said. “Something must have given way. You can see where the whole front of the crane looks like it came down and bounced a couple of times.”

No other injuries were reported, and the turbine closest to the crane was not damaged.

“The crane was 500 to 600 feet from the nearest tower,” Bob said.

Some hydraulic fluid from the crane leaked, Bob said, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation was called in to inspect the site.

This is the second project Clipper and First Wind have had to dismantle and rebuild. The eight-turbine Steel Winds project in Lackawanna was dismantled in 2007 following damage to gearboxes. That project was the first run of Clipper turbines, which are the same Clipper Liberty C-98 model as those used in Cohocton. Work on the site along Lake Erie near Buffalo have been taken down again this year for additional repairs under warranty.

Category: Accident Report


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