Crane Accidents

Inmates Moved After Jail Crane Collapse



Crane Collapse into Jail - Grand Rapids, MI 2012For the workers who were inside the Kent County Jail when the 250-foot-high crane collapsed, there were some terrifying moments.

24 Hour News 8 spoke to a worker who was directing the crane from the ground when it came tumbling down.

“It was pretty scary. Shaky,” said mason worker Jordon O’Conner. “We’re lucky everybody’s alright.”

It happened about 9 a.m. when the 250-foot high crane was moving a load of wet cement for the new part of the jail–part of a $27 million expansion.

“It just collapsed,” said O’Conner. “We don’t know what the problem is.”

According to Kent County Undersheriff Jon Hess, the cable holding the bucket of wet cement snapped.

O’Conner said the cable struck one of his co-workers.

Crane Collapse into Jail - Grand Rapids, MI 2012 (2)“He’s got a fractured shoulder, that’s all,” said O’Conner.

That co-worker returned later, in a sling, and it appeared he was being interviewed by a state safety inspector.

As many as 10 people–construction workers and trustees — were in the area about when the crane collapsed and crashed into the jail addition.

“The workers who were in there said that they heard a a little snapping,” said Hess. “A couple little pipes breaking and all of a sudden a loud boom.”

Hess said he was in a conference room not far away when it happened.

“All of a sudden the power went out,” said Hess. “We sat there and heard a loud boom and we were pretty confident it was the crane.”

Owens Ames Kimball is the contractor, but the crane was operated by G2 out of Cedar Springs.

They were forced to move a couple hundred inmates to a different part of the jail after the old part of the jail lost heat and power.

“We want to get the message out to the community that the jail is safe,” said Hess. “There is no breach to security, it did not have an impact on any of our police responses.”

Sheriff officials are still trying to determine exactly how much damage was done and the impact this would have on a project already 10 weeks behind schedule.

Inmates moved after jail crane collapse:

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