Shipyard crane falls into San Francisco Bay
A rolling crane fell off a San Francisco shipyard dock Monday prompting a water rescue of the operator and the deployment of a boom to capture liquids leaking from the crumpled equipment.
The 100-ton crane, one of five similar cranes used at the Pier 70 facility run by BAE Systems Shipyard, was on a rail system along the edge of one of the firm's dry docks when it suddenly tilted and fell into the water Monday morning. The dry dock was reportedly being filled with water at the time of the accident.
The operator, who was in the crane cab during the collapse, was retrieved from the wreckage by the crew of a passing tugboat. He was transported to a local hospital by San Francisco Fire Department Paramedics as a precaution and SFFD officials later reported that the crane operator was uninjured.
BAE deployed two of its own boats with crews trained in hazardous material response and laid a boom around the crane, which remained partially above water. Unknown fluids leaking from the crane created a sheen on the water and the boom was deployed to contain the spill. A small amount of material was picked up by oil absorbing material deployed by the BAE crews.
The U.S. Coast Guard also responded to the incident, dispatching two boats and a team of investigators. Investigators from the city and county of San Francisco as well as a warden from The California Department of Fish And Game were also on scene.
BAE indicated it will hire a third party to investigate the accident.
The accident is the second major incident in the past several months at a BAE shipyard. Poor ventilation aboard a dry-docked Navy ship in BAE's San Diego shipyard led to a Nov. 10 fuel tank explosion aboard the vessel. The explosion caused severe burns to a shipyard welder and he remained in a coma for several weeks following the blast. An ongoing federal investigation into the explosion found the blast resulted from a buildup oxygen in the 8-foot by 8-foot fuel tank compartment aboard the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain.