A crane accident in Fort Worth attracted the attention of both the regional and national news media recently.
One person died in the accident. According to reports, this was not the first fatal crane accident in North Texas. In fact, eight other people had died since 2012; however, this most recent accident was the first fatality since 2012 involving a member of the general public as opposed to a construction worker.
In addition to the fatality, two people suffered critical injuries and two other people suffered injuries that authorities described as serious. One other victim went to the hospital but was released in relatively short order.
The crane was near an apartment complex in the city when high winds from major thunderstorms rolled through the area. The crane could not withstand the wind and fell over on to the building nearby. Wind is a common reason that cranes collapse.
Interestingly, these sorts of accidents often manage to escape the public spotlight. However, Texas seems to be a hotbed for major crane accidents, with people suffering four times the number of fatalities in this state when compared with other jurisdictions. The problem has attracted the attention of workplace safety regulators, who are performing more inspections of cranes in the area.
While East Texas and the Longview area may not have as many of them on the skyline, cranes are of course used here as part of construction projects. Hopefully, these recent tragedies will be a wakeup call about safety and security around these devices.
However, should accident happen, victims should remember that they will have legal options available. While a number of parties may be responsible, the manufacturer of the crane may be held responsible in a products liabilities for building a heavy piece of equipment with machinery defects.