Concrete piles were being placed and driven in the construction of a new bridge with a barge-mounted crane. The first 55-foot section of the concrete pile had been driven, and the second 110-foot concrete section of the pile had been set in place and secured to the first concrete section of the pile.
The pile driving leads were adjusted and the hammer was positioned on top of the second concrete section of the pile in preparation to drive the pile. The concrete pile broke and started collapsing. As the pile collapsed and fell, the leads were pushed to the right of the crane boom. This caused severe side loading to the crane and the entire crane was flipped onto its right side.
The falling concrete pile and falling portions of the crane crushed and killed one employee, the crane operator. Another worker at the site was injured by falling objects and was hospitalized for treatment of fractures.
Republished from Marine Construction Magazine Issue IV, 2021