September 2022 Accidents Report

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Triple crane fatality in Hong Kong

We are reprinting this article from originally published on September 8, 2022. If you follow the link, there are more pictures and several videos of the accident.

Three people have died while a further six were injured yesterday when a tower crane collapsed on a building site in Hong Kong.

The incident occurred on a residential site for a Hong Kong Housing Society project in Sau Mau Ping, Eastern Kowloon on Wednesday.
The Yongmao tower crane collapsed from its base and was not lifting anything at the time. It appears that the failure centres around the crane’s counterweighted foundation. We understand that the crane has a hook height of around 30 metres and was rigged with a 35 metre jib.

Two men died at the scene while another passed away in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. One of the two who died on site was trapped under the crane and was not recovered until later in the day. The three men, an engineer, an engineer’s assistant and an electrician, were aged between 22 and 41.
Five of the six who were injured had been in the container cabins which the crane landed on, while another man sustained more serious injuries.

An investigation is underway. The secretary for Labour and Welfare Chris Sun said: “We are going to issue a suspension order to stop the work of the three tower cranes in this construction site. The order will be in force until proof is given to the Labour Department that they are safe to operate once again, so there’s no time limit to the suspension order.”

The contractor for the site is Aggressive Construction Company, a subsidiary of Great Harvest Group. Earlier today the Hong Kong Development Bureau restricted the company from bidding for construction projects until December 31, 2023. Its four other sites in Hong Kong were also checked with no violations reported.

Hong Kong’s chief executive John Lee has said that the inquiry led by the Labour Department and experts will investigate the cause of the collapse and look into who should be held accountable. The police force will investigate whether negligence was involved and submit a report to the coroner, adding that criminal investigations would be instituted if negligent conduct was found.

He also highlighted the fact that the authorities had submitted a bill to increase penalties for workplace safety violations, raising the maximum fine for employers who violate occupational safety laws from HK$500,000 ($64,000) and up to 12 months in prison to HK$10 million ($1.3 million) and two years’ imprisonment.

Renton trench collapse victim identified; investigation underway

This article is reprinted from The Seattle Times originally published September 9, 2022.

By Daisy Zavala Magaña, Seattle Times staff reporter

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified a 36-year-old man killed in a trench collapse Wednesday in Renton.

Surjit Gill died from compressional asphyxia after falling into the trench and being covered by about 10 feet of dirt. The medical examiner ruled the death an accident.

Officials received reports from employees about a man who had fallen into the trench early Wednesday afternoon, Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority Division Chief Pat Pawlak previously said. The Renton Regional Fire Authority was the first of ten area agencies to respond.

Firefighters were able to partially uncover Gill, but officials shifted to a body recovery after he showed no signs of life.

Authorities secured the trench before recovering Gill’s body hours later, Pawlak said.

Officials have not disclosed the name of the construction company or confirmed whether Gill was an employee.

The state Department of Labor and Industries is investigating.

Milan Metro Incident

This article is reprinted from published on September 5, 2022. The original article has additional pictures and a video if you click through.

A crane overturned in Italy last week during a tandem lift alongside Milan’s Line 2 metro with the boom blocking the tracks.

The incident occurred on Wednesday evening last week at the Bussero station, four stops short of the end of the line on Milan’s north east.

A four axle Eurogru Amici truck crane owned by Freti was lifting a concrete staircase for a pedestrian footbridge over the tracks in tandem lifting with a Terex Rough Terrain crane owned by SAS Group, when something went wrong. It clearly looks like a case of overloading between the two crane or the structural failure of one of the outrigger beams. The overturned crane has most of its six section boom extended while the Rough Terrain’s boom was only marginally extended as it tailed the load in.

Thankfully no one was injured in the incident but the disruption to anyone going beyond Bussero is significant.

If you see an accident report you’d like us to feature in the blog, like the ones shown here in the September 2022 Accidents Reports, let us know. Contact with the information.

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