More than 20 workers at a construction site in Austin, Texas, were injured when two towering cranes collided. The collision occurred on Wednesday morning, September 16. Far below the cranes, the workers scattered for safety, which also contributed to some of the injuries, according to authorities. Eight ambulances quickly arrived on the scene. At least 16 of the injured workers were transported to 3 different hospitals. Some workers refused transport.
A bystander described the crash as sounding “like pipes falling.” First responders cleared the area of people to prevent further injury. The construction site is a residential development and is near a park, shopping area and other residential properties. There was concern that strong winds could cause the cranes to collide again, furthering danger to bystanders.
Past violations by contract company
The construction company, Cadence McShane developing the new site has had two past OSHA safety violations in the last 10 years (2013 and 2017). Those violations were settled with the company paying an undisclosed amount in “several thousand dollars” in fines. It is unclear at this time what caused this most recent collision. OSHA’s investigation of what led to the crane collision is ongoing.
Fortunately, this incident did not cause any deaths. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas has the highest numbers of deaths due to crane accidents (50) than any other state, followed by Florida and New York, each with 16 deaths from crane accidents. In any event, construction sites can be dangerous places to work and safety must always be paramount.