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Archive for Saturday, May 24, 2008

Worker killed after crane collapses

May 24, 2008

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— One worker was killed and three others were injured after a crane collapsed at a construction site next to the Kansas City Power & Light's Iatan power plant near Weston in Platte County.

KCPL spokesman Matt Tidwell said the victims were contractors with one of several construction companies working on a new coal-fired plant at the site. One victim was released from the hospital and the other two have injuries that are considered non-life threatening, KCPL said in a release. No identities were released.

KCP&L construction project director Brent Davis said there were about 1,800 contractors on site, but wasn't sure which company the injured workers were employed by. French engineering company Alstom is the principle contractor on the project.

The crane collapsed around 7:30 a.m., tipping over on its side and crumpling down into a rocky, muddy construction pit. Pieces of the crane's boom were scattered around the site and a nearby portable restroom was smashed.

The 800-ton crane could lift about 150 tons and its boom extends about 15 stories high, Davis said. It was the largest crane at the site and had been in use for about a year, he added.

KCPL said it appears the accident occurred when the crane was lowering its boom after determining wind speeds were too strong for safe operation. The crane was not bearing any load at the time of the accident.

Investigators were on the scene to determine the exact cause of the collapse.

The Iatan power plant remained open, but the construction site was shut down following the accident.

The plant is just off Missouri 45 highway near Snow Creek, about 30 miles northwest of Kansas City near the Missouri River.

Construction on the new coal plant started a little over a year ago and is expected to be finished by summer 2010. KCPL officials did not expect the accident to delay the finishing date.

Two workers also were killed at the plant on May 9, 2007, when a 3-inch high-pressure water line ruptured. Two others also were burned when water in the pipe flashed to steam.

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