Monday, November 30, 2009

Wrecking ball

Remember that spate of construction crane accidents in Spring 2008? Despite the lack of news coverage, such accidents continue on a regular basis. Occasionally, when the accidents take a somewhat humorous tone rather than a human toll, they make the weird news. Less often - and sometimes more spectacular - are accidents in which a wrecking ball breaks loose. No one was killed the dramatic incident pictured, which happened in Meadville, Pennsylvania, in July 2007. The 1,500lb. wrecking ball was being used to demolish part of Allegheny College's Pelletier Library when it let loose and rolled 3/4 of a mile downhill. "As it gained momentum, the wrecking ball rumbled from the campus along North Main Street, pinballing back and forth across the street, hitting nine parked cars and damaging curbs with each impact." It hit Alex Habay's Ford Taurus as he sat unawares at a stoplight at 9:45am on his way to work. Habay was showered with glass as the 3'-diamater ball landed in his trunk, crushing it into the backseat and causing the car to collide with the 2 cars ahead of it. He only had minor injuries, as did the crane operator, who tried to throw bricks in front of the loose wrecking ball to prevent the fiasco. In October of this year, a more sinister accident: in the yard of Montreal Tracteur in West Island, Canada, a man who worked for a recycling company was standing in a metal container attaching a cable so it could be hauled away when a 675lb. wrecking ball fell on his head, killing him instantly. The crane operator, who apparently mistakenly released the ball, had to be hospitalized for shock. This incredible video demonstrates the force of the wrecking ball, which can weigh up to 12,000lbs., but is shown to have been staged for the cameras. This footage, too, was meant for the cameras - but to show that wallpaper has been developed to help walls withstand bomb blasts.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You may add your comments here.