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Cranes Collapse Across Europe - One Lightning Strike

29 January 2014 | Updated 01 January 1970
High winds have brought a crane down in Croydon, Surrey. Firefighters were called after high winds left a crane in a precarious position on top of an 18 storey building. The high rise is under construction and the crane’s jib is believed to have snapped.

A safety cordon was put in place and specialist crane engineers were called to secure the structure. There were no reports of any injuries.


Three cranes down in three months

The crane involved is manufactured by Jost – and this is the third Jost Crane to come down in or around London in just three months. Another Jost crane came down in 2011 near Stanstead airport. Each incident has suggested the crane had not ‘weather vaned’ properly.

The HSE is investigating in Croydon.


High response

Six fire engines, four fire rescue units and 51 firefighters and officers from Croydon, Norbury, Beckenham, Battersea, Wimbledon, Heston and East Ham fire stations were at the scene to support the crane engineers if they were needed.

The damaged crane in Croydon was one of a number of weather related incidents attended by the Brigade after high winds and rain hit the capital at the weekend. Control officers took around 140 emergency calls – mainly to fallen trees or scaffolding, signs, hoardings and other objects which had been left in a precarious position. Firefighters responded to incidents across London but the majority were south of the river.


Osterhofen, Germany

In Osterhofen, Germany a crane's tower was blown over the back of its counterweight with the local police blaming the operator despite weather conditions.

Nearby buildings were demolished. The crane was subsequently dismantled on Monday and removed. Fortunately no injuries were reported.

In December, a woman was killed and five people injured in Bad Homburg, Germany when a crane collapsed onto an Aldi supermarket.


Two go down in Belgium

Oekene, Roselare in Belgium saw two tower cranes working on a new hospital collapse while four other cranes in the vicinity remained intact. Investigators have initially blamed poor foundations – along with high winds - - for the failure.


France – lightning strike

Four construction workers were burnt at a site in France when a lightning bolt struck a crane  near Biarritz in southern France. Two have been kept in hospital with their conditions reported as 'serious’. The other two were treated and released.

Picture - with thanks to

Article written by Brian Shillibeer | Published 29 January 2014


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