Two men have died after the boom lift they were using to dismantle a music festival stage overturned.
The two men, were working for event design company GuildWorks and were removing guy ropes for a large canopy from trees after the Pickathon festival at Pendarvis Farm in Portland, Oregon on Wednesday evening. The were using an 85ft Genie S-85 boom lift - belonging to rental company Herc - on an uneven grass slope and had elevated the retracted boom causing the machine too become ‘back heavy’ for the slope it was on, resulting in rearward overturn.
Statements from the emergency services said: “There were two people in the basket at the time the cherry picker tipped over. Tragically, both people were killed. The arborists had been ascending in a boom lift before climbing further up trees to get to ropes holding up the complex shade installation. They were wearing safety equipment and were roped to the boom lift, which was reportedly positioned on an incline.”
A public statement from the Pickathon event added: “We are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic loss of two members of the GuildWorks crew during breakdown of this year’s festival. Please join us in offering up prayers and support to their families and friends during this difficult time. All involved in Pickathon are like members of a family to us. We will wrap our collective arms around all affected and share in the grieving process.”
We will update this item if and when we learn more.
It seems that the two men named as Brad Swet, 35, of Foster Trees and Brandon Blackmore, 27, of GuildWorks had gone up in the boom lift and than climbed into the trees to reach the ropes that were holding a giant canopy. The remained attached to the booms with their lanyards. The combination of no weight in the platform, with the high boom elevation, retracted boom and slope caused the boom to tip rearwards pulling the two men from the trees and hurtling them to the ground.