Monday, 13 July 2009

Crane collapses on boxship at Southampton

A CRANE collapsed onto a containership at Southampton Container Terminal this morning, in an apparent repeat of a similar incident in 2008.
One man, thought to be the operator, has been taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries. Meanwhile, all shipside operations have been suspended until further notice.
A workplace source said that the crane at fault this time was manufactured by Morris, making it the same brand as the one that fell down last year, but not physically the same unit. It had been inspected by the Health and Safety Executive following the earlier accident, he added.
Fire crews were called to Dock Gate 20 in Western Avenue, at around 0520 today, to attend to the collapse. According to witnesses, the crane operator was trapped in his cab for two hours before he could be freed, and on release his legs were found to be badly crushed. Meanwhile, a coastguard helicopter from Lee on Solent was scrambled to search for any missing people from the crew or dock personnel.
The crane, a twin boom rig with the cab suspended on rails, collapsed on to the 2008-built, 6,661 teu NYK Themis as the vessel was being loaded, according to a spokesman for Solent Coastguard. The HSE has been notified, and officials are due visit the site later.
Operations at SCT were severely disrupted in January 2008, when high winds caused a recently-refitted quay gantry crane to fall onto the boxship Kyoto Express. Crane eight had undergone a 4m boom extension from contractor Seward Wyon during 2006, enabling it to handle bigger vessels.
No-one was injured in that incident, but shipside operations had to be suspended as a safety precaution. All 11 ship-to-shore cranes at SCT were taken out of service and checked one by one by HSE inspectors before re-entering service.
The knock-on effects included temporary closure of the Honda car factory in Swindon, after its just-in-time delivery system was delayed.
A worker at SCT told Lloyd’s List that he was disappointed that an accident could reoccur so quickly after what happened just 18 months ago: “They [the cranes] were all checked, all signed off, assurances given to everybody that they had sorted it all out. The HSE are as guilty as anybody.” The crane at the centre of today’s accident had not been extended, and weather is not thought to have been a factor, he added. SCT managing director Campbell Mason said in a statement: “It is too early to determine the cause of the incident. We will of course be working co-operatively with the Health and Safety Executive and an independent investigation will be undertaken.”
Nobody at SCT was immediately available to provide additional details or to confirm workforce claims.
SCT is operated by Dubai-based DP World as a joint venture with Associated British Ports.


Anonymous said...

This will mean even more work Felixstowe - it seems like we cant man up enough cranes for our own traffic at the moment. It may be a rival Port but this one of our fellow Dockers that has been hurt - lets hope he makes a speedy recovery.

hoists said...

A good and useful blog which you have posted, There are many different varieties of cranes on the market today, both in terms of size and type. Each type and size serves a different function. In essence, a crane is a machine, which lifts materials up and down as well as horizontally. They are most often used in the construction, manufacturing and transport industries.