Newly obtained footage shows Miami crane collapse during Irma

3 same-model cranes collapse on same day during hurricane in South Florida


MIAMI – Three massive cranes collapsed during Hurricane Irma last year and all three were from the same manufacturer, Terex-Peiner, which still has cranes in South Florida.

The cranes collapsed on the same day last September when Irma swept across South Florida. One of the cranes fell in Fort Lauderdale and the other two fell in Miami.

New video shows the dramatic collapse of one of the cranes in Miami.

The metal arm can be seen swaying to the right before snapping off, causing the other end to break and send massive counterweights smashing into the building as concrete and construction materials crashed to the ground.

Local 10 News has since learned that all three cranes were even the same model -- SK 315 Hammerhead Tower Cranes.

Investigators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said all three cranes failed in the exact same way. The long arm, called a jib, detached from the part that rotates, called a turntable, which then caused the rest of the top of the structure to collapse.

According to OSHA, winds were 40 to 70 mph, with gusts of 80 mph at the time of the collapse. That is well below the Category 4 winds cranes are supposed to be able to withstand. 

With hurricane season already upon us this year and with so many cranes like these in South Florida, we wanted to know if the same Terex-Peiner SK 315 models are still in our area.

According to the Miami Building Department, after the collapse last year, all SK 315 models were removed from the city and, to the best of the department's knowledge, have not been brought back.

The city of Fort Lauderdale released a statement saying, "The city will conduct an inventory of tower cranes in Fort Lauderdale. We anticipate the inventory to take a week, and we will start immediately."

Miami Beach officials are nearly finished going through a similar inventory and said that of the cranes they've checked so far, they haven't found any of concern.

According to OSHA, the SK 315 model has been redesigned since the collapses to address the failures, but officials from all three cities we spoke with were still looking at whether or not the cranes were there, out of an abundance of caution.

"Unfortunately, Hurricane Irma brought uniquely powerful wind forces to bear on South Florida, and there is evidence of micro burst tornadoes and significant updraft wind bursts on the three cranes in their respective locations," Stephanie Woods, director of product safety for Terex, said in an email to Local 10 News. "The cranes were not designed or ever expected to withstand those types of forces. Thankfully, no one was injured as a result of the damage to these cranes."

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