Top ten craziest crane accidents

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When it comes to construction cranes the bigger the better. These amazing workhorses of the construction world can be seen towering imposingly over any modern city’s skyline. They are marvels of the modern world, tremendous feats of engineering and an awe-inspiring sight for any visitor who gets a close up view.

But sometimes their imposing size is also their downfall. When a crane collapses it’s always going to be dramatic. We’ve rounded up some of the most spectacular crane crashes. Maybe after seeing these you’ll spare a thought for the dangers and risks faced by crane operators all over the world, on a daily basis.

It’s also a reminder to construction supervisors and operations managers to make sure their cranes and other heavy equipment are using GPS software to accurately track usage and monitor equipment status so preventative maintenance can be scheduled and accidents avoided.

Of course, in some cases, it’s just plain old operator error, and GPS fleet tracking can’t help with that. These crane crashes are in no particular order.

1 – Texas pipe job

A crane lowering a 9-ton pipe toppled over, causing the pipe to fall and land on two work vehicles, while the actual crane landed on the building.

2 – New Delhi clean up

Heavy cranes collapse during clearing operations at the site of an accident on a New Delhi metro bridge in 2009.

3 – Leaping for his life

This amazing photo shows the driver leaping for his life when his 35-ton crane toppled over on a building site. Two of his coworkers were lucky to survive with the falling crane missing them by inches. At the time, the crane was lifting a 5.7-tonne beam into place, which swung round and smashed to the ground, almost killing fellow workers.

4 – Container lift fail

A cranes boom crashed into a house in Broadstairs, Kent, UK after it topples over while lifting a container over the roof of the building. The crane was a Demag AC50.

5 – Gardening goes wrong

A 50-ton crane topples over and smashes into a Santa Rose house, splitting an extension in two. The 90ft hoist had been trying to pull out a diseased tree in the back garden when it fell. Amazingly, no one was hurt. Unsurprisingly the owners were a little shocked.

6 – Crane on fire

Mining a flammable substance has its disadvantages as one crane operator (and truck driver!) discovered.

7 – Wet weather crane operation

Cranes can handle most conditions except when they’re mostly submerged. An operator tests his crane to the limit.

8 – Bridges and cranes don’t mix!

This reminds us of one of our earlier posts featuring amazing truck and bridge collisions!

9 – House lifting a crane?

It almost looks like the house is getting the better of this crane, unable to hold its ground!

10 – That’s one way to break in

A crane operator finds out how easy it is to break into an office block with a well-placed boom!

11 – One of the biggest cranes goes down

I know we said top ten but we wanted to include this one just because it’s one of the biggest and heaviest cranes on the planet!

This crane is an absolute giant, and you can get some idea of just how big it is by noticing the tiny forklift in the foreground. This huge crane is used in a Japanese dry-dock to move extremely heavy ships and barges. It seems even the largest cranes have their bad days!


If you’re a crane operator, site safety inspector or operations manager that’s responsible for making sure your equipment is being properly maintained and serviced, it would pay to use a GPS fleet tracking system to monitor it and make sure that nothing like this ever happens to you.

If you have any spectacular crane crashes you think should be included here, please feel free to include a link to the page using the comments option below.

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3 Responses to “Top ten craziest crane accidents”

  1. yxlinwith Says:

    “This huge crane is used in a Japanese dry-dock to move extremely heavy ships and barges. It seems even the largest cranes have their bad days!”
    NO,it’s Chinese.

  2. Olof Says:

    This is amazing! Hellarious pics! :)

  3. Whats your Top Ten Everything Says:

    Whats your Top Ten Everything…

    [...]Top ten craziest crane accidents | GPS Systems[...]…

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