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09.09.2010

Crane hits light train

A number of train passengers were injured yesterday in Hong Kong when the 40 metre boom of a Rough Terrain crane struck the carriages of a light rail transit and brought down overhead power lines after it tipped over.

The crane’s boom came down on a Light Tail Transit compartment near Tuen Mun station. Reports say that two people were seriously injured while 14 others received minor injuries.
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The boom was caught by the steel pile boundary fence, it appears as if it was only the hook which hit the carriages


Fortunately the brunt of the booms force was captured by steel pilings that make up the boundary fence between the site and the railway.
The busy service was halted at four LRT stations for several hours. Most of the injuries were apparently caused by the train’s sudden stop, rather than by the direct impact of the boom.

It seems fairly clear that the main cause of the accident was an outrigger issue, at least one of the outriggers on the side that it tipped, either punched into the ground or was not extended.
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The fallen crane - note the front outrigger beam


The local police suggested that heavy rains the night before had softened or loosened the soil on the site, causing the outrigger to sink. Comments made locally suggest that the crane was not using mats under its outrigger pads.

We understand that the 54-year-old operator was not seriously injured. The case has been classified as an industrial accident.


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