Crane Accidents

Cranes Drop Stack


Darwin, Australia

An incident occurred at the Blaydin Point natural gas processing plant near Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, last week while two cranes were installing a large exhaust stack in a tandem lift.

Information is scarce, following a security clamp-down at the site, which is part of the massive Ichthys project. However we understand that something went wrong with the rigging on the 40 meter stack, allowing it to fall as it was being lifted from the horizontal the vertical.

Fortunately the lift planners had implemented a full exclusion zone in the area below and no one was hurt in the incident. Although obviously the stack and anything it fell on will have been damaged.

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A photograph taken shortly after the incident occurred

Northern Territory Work Safe has launched an investigation in to the incident, while the contractor – Japan based Inpex – which has put a very severe clamp down on information and photography, has suspended all large lifts on the site.

We understand that in a letter to employees it said: “During re-positioning of a heating stack the load become detached from the rigging assembly at the top lifting points resulting in damage as it fell to ground within the exclusion zone”. It also said the incident occurred early on in the lift cycle, however some reports from the site suggest that the incident occurred much further along in the move from horizontal to vertical.

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