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Another outrigger incident

A crane tipped over this morning in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA after its outriggers punched through the ground in a beer garden where it was working.

The crane a three axle Terex truck mount, owned by locally based RH Marlin, was set up in the gravel garden to the rear of the Rathskeller restaurant at the Athenaeum building in the 400 block of East Michigan street.

According to the local fire department, the operator had around 28 metres of boom extended when the operator felt the ground shift beneath him. It looks as though the two outriggers on one side of the crane punched though the surface and buried themselves up to the chassis.
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The crane came to rest on the Athenium building

The crane’s boom came to rest on the roof of the historic building. Three people were reportedly treated for minor injuries. The crane narrowly missed a large boom lift from which men were working with the crane on a chimney which is being repointed. The crash set off the buildings sprinkler systems and around 180 people had to be evacuated.

Vertikal Comment

While we cannot be sure, it doesn’t look as though proper outrigger mats or cribbing was used under the outrigger pads. Given the fact that this was a gravel yard close to old buildings in the historic downtown area of the city, there was always a chance that the ground had been excavated in the past or that it contained voids.

This type of accident is all too common and so easily avoided. The crane owner is a long established company and most likely is very familiar with the area where the crane was working. Perhaps the presence of a large boom lift in the yard gave the operator a false sense of security?


Good Afternoon Mr Editor,

Your photo above is yet another example of ‘Negligence’, as Rigging a crane for a lift on Gravel without Large Timber Mats under the Outrigger Pads is first degree incompetence, which in the event of a fatality could lead to Manslaughter charges for the Crane Driver and his Employer. ( In the UK)

As Mr J.J. Curran would confirm, ‘Its not Luck its Know How’ with even the most elementary Risk Assessment if done beforehand identifying all of the Control Measures required for any Crane Lift to be completed in Safety.

It is precisely this kind of Negligent Crane Operations that has killed many thousands of Men on the ground including my Father in Law David Stanford of Dublin on Fri 15/1/88.

How many more must get killed before we do it right first time ?

Please dont describe these dangerous incidents as ‘Accidents’ for they are not Accidental at all, but instead are perfectly good examples of Negligence by someone in Charge of the Crane Lift.

Kind Regards
Mike Ponsonby BA

Jun 8, 2011
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