BUILDING: Things That Go Bump In The Night
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RECENTLY residents of the upmarket area in Camps Bay were shocked to be woken during the evening with a large bang on their door steps to discover a tower crane, erected only a week prior to the incident, had blown over and fallen onto a neighbour’s roof.
The incident was blamed on strong winds that blew during the evening causing the crane to collapse. “This cannot be the case as there were seven tower cranes erected in the same area within two kilometers of each other - and all of these cranes are still standing. Why was the wind not strong enough to blow over these cranes and any other cranes in the Cape Town area,” asks Lorcan Aylward a specialist rigger for ETCS and Lea Cranes.
“On investigation the next day it was found that the inexperienced tower crane erectors, who are the nation wide agents for the product, had not read their suppliers’ manual correctly. It required 33% more base ballast than they had initially erected the crane with. With the correct base ballast the majority of tower cranes are designed to withstand wind of 150 to 170 kilometers per hour.”
“Unfortunately the whole building industry may be tainted now due to their lack of knowledge of the product. Surrounding neighbours do not want to hear of another tower crane on the site. In future smaller contractors may be too afraid to have tower cranes erected on their sites due to this incident,” Aylward says.
In the past five years there has been a major increase in the number of tower cranes erected to assist with often difficult housing jobs in the Cape Town area.
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