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NIH Record

Construction Crane Takes Tumble, Does Little Damage


A mobile construction crane overturned just before noon on May 14 at the site of the Bldg. 40 project and the Bldg. 37 renovation. The crane was hoisting a temporary air handling unit from one ground-level pallet to another when the crane operator felt the vehicle begin to turn over. He dropped the air handling unit several feet to the ground. Then, reacting quickly, he swerved the crane's boom into a small area between the two construction projects, before jumping unhurt from the cab of the crane. "He is to be commended," said Bldg. 37 Project Officer Solange Rangel of the Division of Engineering Services and Project Manager Frank Piatkowski of Charles E. Smith Management Construction. "We were very lucky. If he hadn't thought to direct the crane to avoid hitting something, it would certainly have been a lot worse."

No one was injured and no damage was sustained to either building project. The crane came to rest harmlessly on its side amid several chilled water pipes (middle photo). The temporary air handling unit — which was to provide weekend air conditioning to a portion of Bldg. 37 while the building's chilled water pipes were being worked on — suffered minor damage. Emergency crews responded to Piatkowski's 911 call; Bldg. 37, which is occupied during its renovation, was evacuated for about 20 minutes until it was determined that no gas lines had been ruptured in the incident.

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