Tragedy was diverted at the World Trade Center site in New York on February 16 when no one was killed or seriously injured in a construction accident, according to the New York Post. A bundle of steel beams weighing 35 tons dropped nearly 400 feet, according to reports. They landed on top of a flatbed 18-wheel truck below.
A crane was hoisting the beams when the cable snapped. Fortunately, no one was below when the beams fell. The driver was in the truck at the time, but escaped injury.
“It sounded like a bomb,” said 25-year-old ironworker Frank Pensabene.
“The whole crane looks like it was going to topple over,” said another worker. “Everyone was screaming to get out of the way.”
The crane never collapsed, although the cable gave way and the load dropped. Police and building inspectors responded to the accident. Hydraulic failure may have caused the cable to snap. When the load suddenly drops on a crane, as it did in this instance, a hydraulic breaking system kicks in. If it kicks in too abruptly, especially with such a heavy load, the cable can snap like it did here.
The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) should launch an investigation into this accident. Many people could have been injured and killed.
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