Construction crane topples downtown, operator injured
Published Thursday, June 9, 2011 9:46AM EDT
MONTREAL - A female operator suffered two broken arms and a broken leg when a mobile construction crane working on a condominium project at the old Seville Theatre site toppled over Wednesday afternoon.
Montreal firefighters received a call at 3:15 p.m. that the crane fell over a 20-metre hole while carrying a heavy steel girder at the construction site at the corner of Ste-Catherine St. and Lambert Closse St.
The crane operator was trapped inside the operating cabin, and workers had to stabilize the crane before attempting to get her out.
Several people who live and work in the area told CTV Montreal's Caroline van Vlaardingen that they questioned the safety of the site.
"It's too heavy I think for this maybe," said Alain Gullu, who watched the crash. "She start to move when she moved the machine and it's come down."
Constance Sayers said the woman shifted around inside the crane's cabin as it fell.
"I just happened to look outside as the crane was falling over and I saw the woman's legs fall out of the crane. It was really scary," said Sayers.
The Montreal fire department's Spiderman crew freed the woman tried to take her out by hand, but ended up having to immobilize her and lift the crane operator out with ropes.
She was taken to hospital and treated for multiple fractures, including two broken arms and a broken leg.
The entire rescue operation took just over an hour.
Developers of the project say the crane operator had five years' experience and had been working at the site for two weeks.
This is the first workplace accident at that location.
CSST investigators say they have performed regular inspections of the Seville Condo project.
"There were no violations of occupational health and safety, however when we go on a site it's like taking a picture, so two days later it could be a different situation," said Eric Arsenault.
With 19 accidents a day on Quebec construction sites, the board is now now investigating to determine what went wrong.
"It's not an act of God. There's always a reason why this happens," said Arsenault.
Once they find that reason they will make recommendations to avoid this from happening again.