Firefighters Unable to Approach Burning Platform
A CONSTRUCTION CRANE IN SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, caught on fire Tuesday morning at 10 am local time, and the uncontrollable fire eventually led to the cranes collapse with the boom landing across the roof of a nearby building.
The fire started in the generator on the platform that powers the unit. There were apparently some tell-tale actions that forewarned the workmen that something bad was going to happen, because they all scampered to safety, including the operator up on the boom.
Angry construction workers said they had walked off the job three weeks ago with safety concerns about the crane claiming it was dripping diesel.
"We asked for something to be done about it but nothing was done," union state secretary Brian Parker said.
A 20 metre boom crashed into the building earlier this morning. The crane is the biggest industrial crane in Sydney's city.
The workmen were working on the building when the crane exploded into flames.
"The crane was in the air and you just heard the cables snap one by one," a witness told the Daily Telegraph. "The crane then crashed into the building which the guys were working on."
100 people were evacuated from the site and another hundred were evacuated from the area. Emergency crew members said the position where the crane crashed is making it stable.
The crane driver ran down from the cabin just 10 minutes before the crane was engulfed by flames. About 1000 litres of diesel which powers the generator sparking the fire caused the cables to snap.
About 20 firefighters who attempted to climb the boom to extinguish the flames quickly ran down from the unsafe crane and instead allowed the fire to extinguish itself. At 11am, smoke was still issuing from the crane deck but the flames have since subsided.
Naturally, there were some videographers out there who captured the event:
This first vid has non-family audio
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The Australian has a 30-image photo gallery HERE.
As a side note, several have observed that this crane is owned by the same outfit that owns the infamous crane that failed and was left dangling over Broadway in NYC when Hurricane Sandy rolled through.
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