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Monday, July 21, 2008

Investigation Begins at Houston Crane Collapse

Investigators with OSHA have begun looking into what caused a massive crane to collapse in Houston on Friday, July 18, killing four workers and injuring seven others. The 30-story crane, which can lift up to a million pounds, collapsed at an oil refinery run by LyondellBasell. According to OSHA investigators, at this point it is too early to determine what caused the collapse.

LyondellBasell officials say the crane collapsed during maintenance, and was not scheduled for any work until this week. It has been noted that the engine was idling after the crane hit the ground. Deep South Crane & Rigging of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, owner of the crane, said they will cooperate fully with the federal investigation.

This collapse adds to the unusually high number of crane accidents that have been reported in places like New York City, Las Vegas, and Miami. Nine people have died so far this year in New York City as a result of collapsing cranes.

The Associated Press has noted that cities and states with rules governing construction cranes vary wildly. Some states have no guidelines at all for cranes, and look to federal guidelines that are almost 40 years old. Experts say these guidelines have not kept up with advances in technology.

A lawsuit has already been filed on behalf of Grant Pasek, who was injured when he jumped from an elevated bucket as the crane began to collapse. The lawsuit seeks a restraining order to preserve evidence, as well as the scene of the collapse.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident, please contact the Accident Lawyers Network to find an experienced injury lawyer in your area.

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posted by Neil at 9:30 AM

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