Crane collapse gives unit residents under-arm sweats

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Photo: Natasha Squarey/ Twitter

The latest tower crane collapse onto an occupied apartment block in Sydney’s Wolli Creek injured three construction and caused 200 people to be evacuated. At the time of writing some residents have been allowed back in but many may have to spend a second night in alternative accommodation. The crane lies propped up against the apartment block, creating a logistical nightmare on how to secure it enough to enable safe removal.

North Sydney collapse 2016

There was the usual rush to condemn from the construction union, meanwhile train services were threatened for Monday’s morning peak hour.Accidents will happen is not a cliche we ever want to accept, but if they do, the chances are they will be closer to our apartments than before.

Last year, the majority of lofty cranes were swinging to and fro on commercial projects. Crane collapses happened, such as the one inNorth Sydney last year which left three construction workers dangling on harnesses but the risk to nearby apartment residents was minimal.

A crane collapse in New York

Analysis by construction group Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) earlier this year identified that the total number of cranes had nearly halved since the construction peak last year but now most are involved in residential building, at 548 across Australia.

Sydney is still ahead in the residential housing building stakes, with 292 cranes at RLB’s last count, about 50% of cranes nationally. That means that statistically, however tiny the risk, you do have slighty higher chance of a crane crashing into your balcony pot plants than elsewhere in the country.

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