The boom of a 400 tonne lattice crawler crane dropped suddenly on Sunday, while lifting a large conveyor bridge at a decommissioned steelworks in Charleroi, Belgium.
The crane, a Liebherr LR-1400/2 owned by crane rental company J. Boutique, was lifting the old structure which was originally used to transfer material over the canal/river Sambre to the facility on the other side.
The contractor, Groupe Wanty, has suggested that the incident was caused by a failed luffing cable, which allowed the boom to drop. The conveyor was left resting on the canal banks, with no height for the commercial barges that ply the river to pass. It looks as though a floating crane will be brought in to remove it.
Thankfully no one was hurt in the incident, mostly due to the fact that the detailed lift plan had been followed to the letter. It included tight security to ensure no one came within the lift zone, and closure of the canal during the lift.
The plant operated for more than 100 years but was mothballed sometime after the millennium. In 2007/2008 the blast furnaces were restarted but closed shortly thereafter due to a collapse in the market. Last year the city approved plans to remove the old steel works and restore the land, which stretches to around 270 acres, in the face of a shortage of recreational and development land in the region. The conveyor is one of six crossing over, some being gas or water pipes, others carry coke or slag and other waste material.
The following video news report highlights the incident with good footage of the scene: