Local News

Crane collapses at Raleigh building site

Posted December 19, 2008 11:17 a.m. EST
Updated December 19, 2008 3:42 p.m. EST

— No one was injured Friday morning when a crane collapsed at an office building construction site, authorities said.

The incident occurred at 8317 Six Forks Road shortly after 10 a.m., authorities said. The building will house the offices of Genworth Mortgage Insurance Co., authorities said.

A crane operator was moving three pieces of steel onto the six-story building when the crane, which is owned by Roanoke Valley Steel, became unbalanced and failed, collapsing into the skeleton of the building, authorities said.

"I heard (a noise) like a cat being squeezed – just screeching and crying – and I looked out the window and (the crane) had fallen over," witness Steven Dieckhause said. "It started crumpling straight down. All the wires started crumbling around and everything. I thought one of those was going to kill somebody."

About 30 workers were at the building site when the crane collapsed, but none were injured.

"Everyone here is very fortunate," Raleigh Fire Department Battalion Chief Jerry Pace said. "It's an early Christmas present."

City building inspectors and investigators with the state Department of Labor were at the construction site Friday to determine what caused the collapse.

A second crane was brought to the site at about noon to help remove the wreckage, including some mangled steel beams.