Smithfield, Rhode Island
A crane placing steel-work apparently caused the collapse of a steel structure at Bryant University, Smithfield, Rhode Island, on Tuesday injuring six men and crushing two boom lifts and a telehandler.
According to one of the steel erectors, the incident occurred when the operator of truck crane, helping the steel erector Barnes Buildings and Management to ‘plumb the steel structure’ for a new indoor sports practice pavilion – apparently applied too much pressure trying to pull the frame into position, causing the whole structure to collapse. Two steelworkers were working from a boom lift at a height of around nine meters, when the incident happened. The boom was overturned by the falling steel, but the two men were harnessed in and stayed with it as it went over. At least one other was harnessed to the steel work.
The steel work came down on several booms and a telehandler
None of the six – which included Jose Vierra , Michael Gehrke, Roberto Rios, Jaime Rivas, Fabrico Quintanilla, and Douglas Tejada – suffered life threatening injuries.
Three were treated at hospital and released, while three were reportedly held overnight but were said to be in good condition.
When Jose Vierra was released from hospital he stated that the witness statement claiming that the crane caused the incident was untrue and that the crane was not working when the building went over. Photographs showing the crane stood back from the incident would seem to corroborate Vierra’s statement.