Tower crane incident in Toronto

A luffing jib tower crane struck a high rise building in Toronto, Canada, on Thursday causing the jib tip to buckle and collapse onto the roof of the building.

No one was hurt in the incident and most of the damage was limited to the crane jib. The operator was suffering from mild shock but was able to climb down from her cab ‘under her own steam’. The site is operated by PCL Construction which runs a large equipment fleet, including its own tower cranes. The company said: “We are thankful that no injuries were sustained during yesterday’s incident and would like to recognise the swift response efforts of all on-site personnel and Toronto emergency services and thank the local community for their patience.”

Three buildings in the immediate vicinity were evacuated as a precaution.

Photo: Toronto Fire Department

Toronto Fire Chief Mathew Pegg attended the scene and said: “The operator is not injured. She made her way down with the assistance of one of her colleagues and was down upon our arrival. It is not clear if anyone was inside the affected offices when the crane struck the building. That building and two adjacent buildings have now been evacuated as a precaution. Our main concern now is public safety in the event of any further collapse. We just need to deal with the public safety hazard, given I am told the crane is just about 200ft/66m in the air. We need to secure it and make sure that it doesn’t end up with a subsequent incident.”

“Obviously we cannot control or prevent the movement or failure of the crane at this point. So we are taking every precaution we can to make sure that it is secured. We are having to keep an eye on the weather. Fortunately it is OK right now but we are paying particular attention to weather moving through. We have to be very vigilant about things like heavy rain, wind and the potential for lightning, but so far so good.”

The weather did in fact halt the recovery process on Thursday night, but it resumed this morning with the jib being removed my midday and according to PCL the job should be completed by the end of the day. Click here to see news video of the crane removal

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