A jib of a luffing jib tower crane blew over the rear of the crane on a building site in London, UK, this evening during a severe storm with high winds.
The crane, a Raimondi LR60 owned and operated by DMK, was working on the Harriers residential construction project on the site of the old Hotel Antoinette, next door to Kingston University’s Penrhyn Road campus, in Kingston on Thames, south west London. The main contractor is James Taylor Homes, and the project involves the construction of 60 homes. We have been informed that a) no one was injured in the incident and b) that while the crane’s tower appears to be leaning slightly the crane is stable – but this has not been confirmed.
The London Fire Brigade issued a statement saying: “We were called at 16.15 to reports of a tower crane collapsing into a building under construction on Beaufort Road. Two fire engines and two fire rescue units attended.”
A police statement added: “Emergency services on the scene. At this early stage, there are no reported injuries. A number of local residents have been evacuated as a precaution.”
Raymondi has responded with a statement that it is happy to hear that there were no one was hurt in the incident and that the crane was found to be in good working order. As to how the 'out of service' condition the crane was left in overnight, the company said that it would not be appropriate for it to comment while any investigation was ongoing.
We have now received information that both cranes on site had been working in high wind speeds - with constant wind speeds of 42 mph, gusting to 55 mph. They were eventually parked up and it seems that one was parked up with the jib at too steep an angle for a crane of this design - a light duty city crane with light weight jib - and as such the chances of the wind catching it and flipping it over the rear were fairly high. We are expecting an official announcement from the manufacturer later this week and will post it as soon as we do.