Two tower crane jibs collapse in London

A tower crane has collapsed on to the roof of the Government’s cabinet office in Whitehall, London, following hurricane force winds throughout the southern half of the UK.

The building was evacuated around 7.00am this morning following the incident. Fortunately no one was injured. The jib of the crane, a Jost hydraulic luffer, was contained within the roof area of the building, and damage is - we understand - limited.
The collapsed crane

The crane, owned by City Lifting, was due to be dismantled yesterday, but winds were too high, and the job was postponed. The crane is now being removed.
The crane jib bolts also gave way on the crane in The Old Kent Road

Another Jost crane - this one owned by Delta -of the same type lost its jib in the Old Kent Road, in London, it is understood that the Jib's lower chords gave way when buffeted by the strong winds. Once again no one was injured in the incident. We understand that this is the same site and crane model that lost its jib earlier this year Click here to see Jost loses its jib in London
The fractured jib close up

The jib was left dangling

The jib came down alongside the cab

The Jost hydraulic luffing jib cranes have an unusually small out of service radius and can be slow to weathervane, especially when winds are made up of strong gusts that shift direction.
The tower crane jib is recovered..

High winds also brought down several rows of façade scaffolding, and have left over 220,000 homes throughout the UK without power. Rail and air services have also been severely disrupted as winds of up to 70 mph have been recorded at Heathrow airport, cancelling 130 flights.
Several scaffolds were damaged or destroyed in London overnight


The closeup photo of the jib appears to show that there are no pins joining the lower chords. This is fine for a self erecting crane where the jib is always at a low angle, but can't be suitable for a luffing crane with its steep jib angles? Even if the crane were left to slew, the wind tends to swirl and buffet in built up areas. If this is the case then these cranes have a defective design and are not safe.

29 Oct 2013

Sascha Mandl
i heard that both cranes were locked and thus could not slew in the wind. both incidents were clearly caused by human error.

29 Oct 2013

you pay for what you get

29 Oct 2013

Let's not also forget the Jost jib collapse in high winds in Essex as reported on 24-12-2011 where a remarkably similar jib collapse occurred to a Jost Luffer in high winds. Is this some form of weak spot in the jib design or just a co-incidence?

28 Oct 2013

Cranes are supposed to be good for 100 mph winds if they are left to slew. What happened here?

28 Oct 2013
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