Investigation continues into deadly crane accident
Deadly crane collapse in OshkoshPhoto: Video by nbc26.com
OSHKOSH, WI--One worker is dead and another injured after a crane collapse on Highway 41 in Oshkosh.
Two cranes were lifting a concrete beam Thursday morning when one of the cranes tipped over. It happened in a construction zone on the Lake Butte des Morts bridge.
The DOT says its too early to tell if the accident was caused by human error or a mechanical failure. Now the construction site is on lockdown as OSHA investigators try to piece together what caused the collapse.
A collapsed crane, after a 52 ton concrete beam, also known as a girder cashed into Lake Butte des Morts. Traffic was backed up for miles near the scene and people driving by are in shock.
"Its awful that we have to have an accident during this," said passerby Peg Hamblin.
It's not clear if the gerder broke free or the crane collapsed.
"The cranes had already had the gerders off the truck, it was in the air, and they were in the process of moving it when something happened with the cranes," said Brian Roper with the Wisconsin DOT.
Thirty-five year old Joseph Bidler of Green Bay was killed in the accident. He was a driver for Waukesha based Spancrete.
Investigators can't say exactly where he was at the time of the collapse.
The crane's operator was seriously injured.
The cranes were operated by Lunda Construction.This is the second deadly crane accident in the last 3 months for Lunda in northeast Wisconsin.
"There is a detailed safety plan the contractor puts forth, in terms of what the movements of the crane will be and how each lift will occur," said Roper.
For now the scene is at a standstill as the investigation continues.
"OSHA will look at all contributing factors and will be able to relay it all their report," said Roper
Those who travel the busy road hope this is the last tragedy on highway 41.
No word on how long the site will be shut down. DOT officials say they are considering looking at safety procedures and Lunda's safety record after the investigation is complete.