Fact Check

Crane Falls Through First Floor

Rumor: Photographs show a toppled crane that fell through the first floor of a building under construction.

Published July 21, 2010


Claim:   Photographs show a toppled crane that fell through the first floor of a building under construction.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, July 2010]

9 Day Old 250-ton Liebherr Crane (never used before)

$4 million price tag

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Failure of back propping beneath the 200mm thick concrete deck

Crane support outrigger punches through slab causing crane to lose balance and collapse across the site and onto adjoining property

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Crane balanced in the air for about 1 hour before boom collapses across the site and the rig falls through to the basement level.

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Amazing that no one was seriously injured or killed.


Origins:   The photographs displayed above capture the aftermath of a construction accident that resulted in a crane's toppling over and falling through the first floor of a building under construction in Sydney in September 2008, as briefly noted by the Australian Associated Press:

A large crane has toppled onto a building at a Sydney construction site.

The construction crane, in use at the site on Gladstone Street, at Castle Hill in the city's north-west, fell over about 11am, police said.

Police say about 40 people were evacuated from a nearby building before the crane collapsed.

Traffic diversions were put in place around the site and WorkSafe will investigate the accident along with police.

Another account of the mishap provided slightly more detail about how the accident unfolded:

The crane, which had only been delivered nine days earlier, is owned by local rental company Gillespies, and was installing prefabricated walls when one of the outriggers punched through the slab floor causing the crane to tip, until the boom came to rest on the wall of the building. The operator managed to jump from the cab falling around three metres to the floor.

The crane remained in an unstable condition and within the hour it had fallen through the first floor to the ground level, with the boom resting on the remainder of the first floor wall and hanging over an adjacent industrial premises.

The crane driver suffered minor bruising to his ankle, but no one else was injured.

Last updated:   19 May 2015


    AAP General News.   "Work Site Crane Topples Over, 40 Evacuated."

    27 September 2008.

    Vertikal.net.   "Yet Another Outrigger Accident."

    27 September 2008.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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