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Thread: Broken crane still dangling

  1. #1
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    Default Broken crane still dangling

    April 23, 2009

    Broken crane still dangling

    By Jalelah Abu Baker

    Police received a call on Wednesday night at about 11.20pm about a crane dangling at the Ardmore Park site, near the Shangri-La Hotel. -- ST PHOTO: JALELAH ABU BAKER

    MORE than 15 hours after the crane snapped in strong winds on Wednesday night, its broken boom is still dangling precariously from the rooftop of an uncompleted condominium building in Ardmore Park.

    Site managers said they are waiting for the go-ahead from the Ministry of Manpower to bring down the damaged crane, which is perched atop the 36-storey block.

    Meanwhile, workers are cutting down four large trees around the block to prepare for the crane to be brought down so that it can be erected right away.

    Traffic around the the Ardmore Park area, which is near the Shangri-La Hotel, were closed to rush-hour traffic on Thursday morning and the Pan-Island Expressway was jammed for hours.

    Roads around and into the building site have been cordoned off. Workers who turned up at the worksite on Thursday morning were told to go home.

    Police received a call at about 11.20pm on Wednesday night about the dangling crane, whose broken part was threatening to fall onto the ground.

    'A lifting kit which was connected to the crane was found along the road,' said police

    No one was injured in the incident. Ministry of Manpower officials were at the site on Thursday morning and held meeting with the site managers.

  2. #2
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    April 24, 2009 Friday

    Dangling crane causes massive jam

    By Jalelah Abu Baker

    The damaged crane hanging about 150m above the road. The crane's hooking block crashed to the ground late on Wednesday night. -- ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

    ABOUT 15 tonnes of metal is hanging precariously from the top of an unfinished condominium at Ardmore Park after part of a crane collapsed late on Wednesday night.

    No one was hurt and no property damaged when the crane's hooking block - used to lift construction material up the 36-storey project - crashed to the ground at about 11.20pm on Wednesday. It occurred about the same time as an unusually strong wind storm.

    The rest of the crane, secured by steel cables to a carriage, is dangling about 150m above the street.

    The site was unoccupied when the incident happened. Residents of the neighbouring Abelia Condominium were evacuated and a security cordon was put in place, keeping residents out for the time being.

    The incident caused a massive traffic jam at Stevens Road, Anderson Road and other roads leading in and out of Ardmore Park Drive yesterday morning.

    Anderson Road was reopened at about 6pm after Ministry of Manpower (MOM) officers gave instructions to workers to secure the crane's dangling boom to its carriage.

    The road was closed again when a mobile crane, meant to recover the damaged one, was erected through the night.

    All work at the Wheelock Properties (Singapore) site has been halted.

    Ardmore Park Drive could stay closed for a few more days.

    The Manpower Ministry is working with the contractor, Poh Lian Construction, to ensure the safe removal of the damaged crane.

    Poh Lian's building site manager, who only wanted to be known as Mr Seah, said that the strong gust of wind on Wednesday could have caused the boom of the brand-new crane to topple.

    However, Mr Edwin Yap, president of the Singapore Institution of Safety Officers (Siso), said that Wednesday's strong winds may not be the sole cause of the crane's collapse.

    He said there can be a few contributing factors for a crane to collapse: corrosion, lack of maintenance or issues with the securing mechanisms.

    While the wind may not have been the sole culprit, it was 'the strongest wind' a crane operator from the nearby Ion Orchard construction site had ever felt.

    'I was looking down the whole time. The wind was so strong that the boom (which typically weighs about 7 tonnes) was swinging in circles. In my 13 years here, I have never felt that kind of wind,' said the 36-year-old man who was working the night shift at 11pm.

    MOM is currently conducting checks on all other cranes on the worksite. It also reminds all crane owners and users to conduct pre-operation inspections before using them.


  3. #3
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    April 25, 2009 Saturday

    Delicate job of lowering damaged crane begins

    By Jalelah Abu Baker

    The crane on the left has been brought in to help remove the damaged part of the crane dangling 36 stories above at the Ardmore ll condominium. The recovery work is expected to end later today. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

    THE mammoth task of removing the dangling part of a crane perched 36 storeys above a street in the Orchard Road area has begun, and is expected to end later today.

    The main contractor, Poh Lian Construction, said the crane's boom will be dismantled by workers and lowered in parts by two mobile cranes by about 7pm.

    The process is a delicate one and can be done in a few phases only in daylight and if it does not rain, for safety and visibility reasons, a spokesman added.

    The 12-hour recovery operation comes after the crane's boom flipped backwards and bent over on Wednesday night at the Ardmore II condominium in Ardmore Park Drive. The incident happened at the same time that the island was hit by strong winds caused by a Sumatra squall.

    No one was hurt when a small part of the crane crashed to the ground, but the boom remained hanging precariously, attached to the rest of the structure only by steel cables and slightly swaying.

    Poh Lian submitted a final recovery plan late yesterday, after it was endorsed by a professional engineer and reviewed by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

    Ministry officials then gave the construction company the go-ahead to proceed with the recovery plan when it was deemed sufficiently safe.

    Anderson Road and Ardmore Park Drive, which have been closed since Thursday morning, will remain closed till the recovery work ends.

    The two mobile cranes brought in to aid the recovery are the only ones of their kind in Singapore, according to Mr Ah Singh Gill, the general manager of Hiap Tong Crane and Transport, which brought them in.

    They were erected by yesterday evening, although there was a slight delay in assembling the second crane due to a short halt in recovery preparations.

    'The residents here wanted me to stop the work and let them out,' said Mr Singh, who was there to ensure that the cranes were being assembled safely.

    Workers then moved the small crane, used to erect the larger one, which was blocking residents of Shangri-La Apartments.

    But the five residents who were evacuated from Abelia Condominium next door may not be able to return to their homes for the time being.

    Former remisier Peter Lim, who owns 80 per cent of the 11-storey condominium, was roused from his sleep by policemen, who evacuated his family soon after the incident occurred.

    'The most difficult task was to evacuate my 86-year-old mother at midnight without giving her a heart attack,' he said.

    Although his wife and two teenage children 'were steady' during the evacuation, transporting five big German Shepherds and a cat was a slightly more difficult task.

    But Mr Lim understands the difficulty of the situation and is 'staying cool' about it.

    MOM said it has not seen a tower crane incident like the one at Ardmore Park 2 in the past few years.

    Investigations into why the incident happened are being carried out by the ministry.

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