Crane Company Blames High Winds for Fatal Dallas Collapse, Says Operator Followed Procedure

The company that owns the crane that fatally crashed through a Dallas apartment building during a storm this month blames high winds for the collapse, saying the crane's operator followed proper procedure.Bigge Crane and Rigging said in a statement Thursday that the operator placed the crane in the “appropriate out-of-service mode” when he completed work the day before the June 9 collapse, which killed one woman, injured five other people and displaced more than 500 residents from the Elan City Lights apartments in Old East Dallas.“We believe that extreme local wind conditions caused this crane accident,” Bigge said. “But what matters most now is that OSHA and independent investigations continue and lead to their official findings.”The crane, a Peiner SK 415-20, should be able to withstand wind up to 95 mph, according to manufacturer’s specifications on Bigge’s website. The National Weather Service recorded gusts of up to 71 mph the day of the storm.Juan Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said he could not say whether the agency’s findings so far match with what Bigge says is the cause of the collapse.Rodriguez declined to say how far along OSHA’s investigation was, saying that the agency does not comment on open investigations. The agency has up to six months to complete an investigation and determine whether any citations will be issued, he said.'It shouldn't have come down'A crane expert unaffiliated with the investigation, Thomas Barth, has said that video of the collapse points to operator error. In the video, two cranes are visible: the one that fell, and one that remained stable in the high winds.  Continue reading...

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