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Equipment failure leading to crane collapse

What happened?

A vessel was tied up in port alongside another vessel (double banked). An attempt was made to lift a 20′ freight container cabin from a truck, onto the vessel. The crane of the inboard vessel was used for the operation. A hydraulic line burst and the crane head fell on top of the portacabin. As a result, the freight container fell between the jetty and the inboard vessel, and was badly damaged. No-one was injured.

A shore crane was then used to recover the container and place it back on the jetty.

What went wrong? Investigation and findings

The immediate cause of the collapse of the crane was the failure of the hydraulic line.

What lessons were learnt? And what were the actions?

IMCA notes:

  • Hydraulic lines might burst at any time. It is of the greatest importance to ensure that regular inspection and replacement of such parts is included in the planned maintenance programme;
  • There were significant control of work issues here which were not addressed, in that the crew of the outboard vessel used the crane of the inboard vessel with no assurance as to its condition or fitness for the operation.


Members may wish to refer to the following incident:

Safety Event

Published: 15 June 2017
Download: IMCA SF 15/17

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