Removal of collapsed Halifax crane is nearly complete
Published Monday, October 14, 2019 6:39PM ADT
Over a month since post-tropical storm, Dorian touched down in Halifax, the collapsed crane that crumbled against the force of the wind is finally being removed. A long time coming for some, eager onlookers watched as crews began the removal process on Monday.
Workers removed much of the crane, taking away parts of the front jib in pieces, cutting into them with high powered torches and removing them individually – a less than simple process.
“The guy who was using the torch was actually cutting blind,” says Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal project manager, David Hamilton. “He had to cut the metal, and the guys inside were trying to guide him – he's in a basket 200 feet off the ground, so it's a little tough, but we did prevail in the end.”
Fire crews were on standby and assisted by pouring water onto nearby buildings as sparks fell as the crew made progress – after a slow start on Sunday.
“Once we took the catwalk off the top of the crane, it exposed a little more difficulty welding than we originally thought,” says Hamilton of Sunday’s efforts. “We thought it would take about an hour for welding – it ended up being six hours.”
Though the work was gradual, crowds were nonetheless captivated, with some people watching for hours.
“We're all in it together,” says Halifax resident, Diane Wile-Brumm. “You're kind of waiting for that ‘aha’ moment where you go ‘oh goody, finally all those people get to get their lives back.’”
“It’s a whole lot of metal that bent like spaghetti, right?” says resident, Tony Roache of the mangled metal. “And it's just hanging there – it's something different.”
The last piece requiring removal is the portion of the front jib hanging over the building. Officials say the work should take three to four hours as there are several anchor points keeping the crane together.
Meanwhile, Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency released an amendment to an evacuation order near the crane – meaning residents of two nearby buildings, 5690 Spring Garden Road and 1491 South Park Street, are being allowed back into their homes.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Emily Baron Cadloff.