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Liebherr experts investigate Saudi crane collapse

Swiss firm sends personnel from its manufacturing plant in Germany to assist authorities in their efforts

The prone LR 11350 lattice boom crawler crane on site, attended by a Tadano all-terrain crane prepped to assist proceedings.
The prone LR 11350 lattice boom crawler crane on site, attended by a Tadano all-terrain crane prepped to assist proceedings.

The Liebherr Group is aiding the investigation of the fatal crane collapse at Makkah’s Grand Mosque, which involved a Liebherr machine on a Saudi Binladin Group (SBG) site, and resulted in the death of 107 worshippers and the injury of nearly 400 people in total.

The Swiss-German equipment giant has responded swiftly to the crisis, and both “local Liebherr experts as well as experts from [its] manufacturing plant in Ehingen are assisting on site.”

Wolfgang Beringer, a Liebherr spokesperson based in Ehingen, told PMV Middle East: “The crane that collapsed is a lattice boom crawler crane type LR 11350, and as the manufacturer, Liebherr will do everything in its power to help bring the accident investigation to a speedy and logical conclusion.

“Liebherr is extremely saddened by this tragic accident and the fatalities and injuries, and expresses its deep sympathy to the families of the victims. We hope that all persons injured will recover quickly.”

SBG executives have meanwhile been prohibited from leaving the country by the Kingdom’s Royal Court, pending a full investigation of the tragic incident.

At present, the collapse is thought to have been caused by strong winds and storms, though the immediate disciplinary action against SBG suggests that the possibility of human or operational error could be under consideration.

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Construction Week - Issue 725
Jan 19, 2019