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Bent boom forces evacuation

A number of buildings were evacuated in downtown Wilmington North Carolina, yesterday after the boom of a nearby mobile crane appeared to buckle.

Police were concerned that it might bend further or break and fall on the occupied buildings that were within range– thus the evacuation.

The crane was working on a new Courtyard Marriott hotel and was lifting a large vertical steel beam into place when the incident occurred. The crane operator stopped operations immediately and called for help.
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The boom looks as though it has buckled

Two other cranes arrived, one of which lifted a suspended man-basket up to the beam in order to disconnect the slings from the stricken crane’s hook. It was then moved away from the buildings and people were allowed back in. The entire exercise took over two hours.
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two cranes come to the rescue, one lifts a basket to the spot so that the steel beam can be disconnected

No injuries were reported. The crane, a link Belt telescopic is owned by Edwards of Spring Hope, North Carolina.

The main contractor on the job is Graham Construction of Concord, North Carolina. Inspectors from North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Administration arrived on site after hearing the news, and launched an investigation into what happened.

Edwards operates an extension fleet of crane with capacities of up to 600 tons, the company operates out of five locations and claims to be the biggest crane rental company in the state.


Old Sweat Old Sweat
Piling with mobiles..............disaster waiting to happen.

Dec 9, 2011

I cant help but notice that the boom sections are not extended equally. I have seen this before with vibra hammers. we had a grove where the operator did the exact same thing and it buckled between the short section and the long section.

Dec 5, 2011

Steve Sparrow
Not many companies will allow their telescopic cranes to be used for pile extraction. The vibration plays havoc with LMI and hydraulic systems.

This work is much better suited to lattice boom cranes due to their greater strength and resistance to the vibration and shock loads that come with piling.

Nov 30, 2011

Craniac 1
It appears the load consisted of sheet piling and an air operated vibratory hammer. I'm guessing they were trying to extract the sheet piling. If so, the small crane with long boom length, use of a hook block for multiple reeving and the intense shock load from the air hammer when activated lead to a predictable result. Fortunate that no one was hurt and no further damage done. I know of a competitor's similar incident in Florida 20 years ago that left the crane's upper unit toppled onto the ground next to the truck it had been formerly mounted on.

Nov 30, 2011