Rotterdam over
The crane was set up outside of the old main entrance

A 500 tonne eight axle crane overturned earlier today at a job site in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

The crane, a Liebherr LTM1500 -8.1 owned by crane rental company Boekestijn had arrived on the site of the Erasmus University Medical Centre, where an older building is to be demolished. The crane was to lift a large air conditioning unit from the roof It parked up in front of the main entrance to the old building, and set its outriggers – apparently ignoring a sign that said “maximum load 14 tonnes” – raised its boom and slewed over the side, as soon as it did the outrigger punched through the ground into a large void below, an old underground bicycle storage space.

The crane tipped over backwards with the boom smashing into the building. The operator who was in the cab at the time, sustained what Boekestijn has described as “slight injuries”.

The crane had set up with a large outrigger mats and steel plates to drive on, but the relatively thin concrete cover topped by interlocking blocks, was simply too weak to sustain the loads applied. We do not know if the counterweight had been installed or not. If so then this is no surprise at all.