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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Crane accident in Kojimachi Tokyo.

On Tuesday, the drizzly skies over Kojimachi, Tokyo, were a deafening clatter of helicopters, with no less than 7 of them circling around. Sirens on the ground added to the sense of emergency. Looking online, we discovered that a 28-meter high, 104 ton mobile crane at a nearby construction site for what is to be a new apartment building had toppled across Shinjuku-dori Street, severely injuring one pedestrian, lightly injuring another, and flattening a container truck, severely injuring, and trapping, its occupants. The crane operator was also badly injured.

Apparently the crane was trying to pull an 11-ton casing from out of the ground, when the crane’s maximum allowable load was 6.5 tons. That was enough to tip it over.

The Shinjuku-bound lane of Shinjuku-dori was blocked by the jib of the crane all day, and the whole area teemed with emergency services.

Today traffic flow has been restored to Shinjuku-dori, and the sun is out today, but the construction site – festooned, as are all construction sites in Japan, with the slogan “Safety First” (!) – is still chaos.

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