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Crane Topples In Factory Construction Accident



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Crane Topples In Factory Construction Accident

By Andrew Gorosko

The state crane inspector is investigating a construction accident that occurred midday Monday at Hubbell Plastics, Inc, in which a heavy-lift crane that was being used to move materials for a roofing project toppled over. The crane’s extended telescopic boom smashed into and punctured the sprawling factory’s roof, near a loading dock.

There were no injuries in the mishap, said Connecticut Crane Inspector Elliot Henowitz.

The factory at 14 Prospect Drive manufactures plastic wiring devices. Mr Henowitz had no damage estimate. The construction accident may result in civil penalties being levied, he said.

Fortunately, there were no injuries in the accident, but such incidents hold the potential for injury, he said.

Newtown police did not investigate the accident.

Hubbell officials could not be reached for comment.

At 12:50 pm, Newtown Hook & Ladder and Botsford firefighters were dispatched to an automatic alarm at the factory, which sounded after the fire sprinkler system in the factory was hit by the falling crane boom, according to fire officials.

It was not until firefighters arrived that they realized that a large construction crane had toppled over onto the factory. The crane involved was a Link-Belt, Model HTC-8640. It is a truck-based hydraulic crane.

Newtown Hook & Ladder Fire Chief Ray Corbo was incident commander at the accident.

As a precaution, a natural gas line that was bent by the impact of the falling crane boom was turned off, said Chief Corbo. Yankeegas personnel responded to the scene. The damaged gas line will need to be replaced, Chief Corbo said.

Hook and Ladder personnel spent more than 5½ hours at the scene, until the toppled crane was righted, he said. The firefighters stood by in the event there were any problems inside the damaged factory, he said.

The Link-Belt crane, which was positioned on gently sloping turf adjacent to the factory, was being used to load roofing materials onto the factory roof, said Chief Corbo. Apparently, as the extended boom of the unloaded crane swung across the roof near a loading dock, the crane slipped off its cribbing and became unstable, with the telescopic boom falling onto and puncturing the edge of the roof, he said.

The crane came to rest listing to its right at an approximately 45-degree angle. The telescopic boom made contact with the factory roof about 80 feet from the point where the crane body was positioned on the ground.

The crane uses a set of massive outriggers to stabilize itself when in use. Wooden cribbing blocks are used to brace the device.

After the impact, the factory was evacuated. Workers stood outside on the warm day watching as officials prepared to right the toppled crane.

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