Last Sunday, a Liebherr LR1400/2 owned by crane rental company Jean Boutique was lifting an old structure of a decommissioned steelworks in Charleroi, Belgium when the crane boom dropped suddenly.
The 400-tonne crawler crane was lifting a large conveyor bridge that was running across the canal originally used to transfer material over to the other of the facility.
The contractor, Groupe Wanty, has suggested the cause was by a failed luffing cable, causing the boom to drop. The conveyor ending up resting across the canal banks, which the becomes a low barrier that no commercial barges was able to pass.
Fortunately no one was hurt in the incident, mostly due to the fact that the detailed lifting operation planned. It also included tight security to ensure no one came within the lift zone and closure of the canal during the lift.
Decommissioning the millennium old steelworks
The plant has operated for more than 100 years but was mothballed for a while after millennium. In 2007/2008, the blast furnaces were restarted but close shortly due to the market collapse.
Just last year, the city approved plans to remove the old steelworks and restore the land, which stretches to around 270 acres, in the face of a shortage of recreational and development land in the region. The conveyor is one of six crossing over, some being gas or water pipes, others carry coke or slag and other waste material.