Houston Crane Accident at Lyondell Chemical kills four people at an east Houston refinery Friday afternoon. Safety officials said the large crane collapsed at the LyondellBasell refinery knocking over two other cranes. A spokeman for LyondellBasell said four died and seven others were injured. Two of the injured were flown by Life Flight helicopter to Memorial Hermann Hospital. They remained hospitalized Friday night with non-life-threatening injuries.
Crane collapse witnesses said an alarm sounded, and employees ran to a lunch tent that was designated as an evacuation area. However, the crane toppled on top of the tent, killing some inside. “It sounded like a building — sounded like a building fell. I looked back — I was on my way to evacuate the plant and I looked back and I seen the arms coming down. After that, I just seen a lot of black smoke,” worker Stacy Davis said. “I stopped in my tracks. We was in shock. I was in the middle of the street. I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to cry. I believe some people got killed. It was so big and so loud and I seen it come down.”
Deep South Crane – Largest in World
Company officials said the crane was one of the world’s largest and was being leased for maintenance work when it collapsed. Deep South Crane and Rigging was contracted to work with the crane during the turnaround. A test was performed on the crane a couple of days ago in which it safely picked up 800,000 pounds. Officials said they do not yet know what caused the crane to collapse or what the workers were doing at the time of the accident. The crane was delivered in pieces and assembled on site about a month ago. It was brought in to remove large drums from inside a coking unit whose roof had been cut off to allow the crane access, Roecker said. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA was called to the scene to investigate the deadly crane collapse at Houston’s Lyondell Chemical plant.
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