A large mobile harbour crane struck the Holtenau high bridges on the Kiel Canal in northern German last week, blocking canal traffic and road traffic over the bridge.
The crane a new Liebherr LHM 600 destined for the port of Esbjerg on Denmark’s west coast, was aboard a Finnish ship travelling down the canal, which cuts across Schleswig-Holstein the northern state that links the bulk of Germany to Jutland in Denmark.
The crane was clearly too high to pass under the bridges, possibly due to the tide? The captain of the MV Meri was clearly oblivious to the fact and carried on regardless. The crane’s tower struck the bridge beams hard, tilting the crane rearwards so that it was low enough to pass under. Miraculously the crane bounced back upright once it was clear of the bridge, even though it lost some of its wheels, counterweight slabs and half its boom.
When the ship moved from the Baltic Sea into the canal, it had to pass though the locks just before the bridges and would have had to obtain clearance to traverse the canal. The bridges are reportedly 42 metres high, The crane’s overall height ranges from 36 to 43.5 metres depending on the configuration. The crane is part of a two crane order for the Danish port See: Another LHM for Esbjerg
A German news report in the video below captures the actual incident and looks at the aftermath, including details of the damage.