The boom of a crane buckled in Valletta, Malta last week while pouring concrete, no one was hurt in the incident and damage was light.
The incident involved a telescopic crane rigged with a retracted telescopic swingaway extension in position. The boom was at a mid-point boom angle with all four sections extended, so working at a relatively long radius for its size.
The boom second section buckled at the point where it exits the base boom section and came done on some scaffold that covers the façade of the new parliament building.
The contractor and crane owner – Vassallo Builders said that the crane had been fully certified and tested in recent months and that all of its documentation was up to date. It also added that the operator was also fully trained, certified and licensed.
As to the cause? It is possible that the boom was still just within the structural part of the load chart and the concrete bucket was too large and therefore cause an overload? Or it may just be down to fatigue, being an older crane exasperated by prior overloading – including repeated overload testing – or an earlier impact to the boom.
Hopefully the cause of the failure will be made public once the investigation is complete.