Crane collapse injures worker |

Crane collapse injures worker

Katie Redding
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Jordan Curet The Aspen Times
ALL | The Aspen Times

SNOWMASS VILLAGE ” A worker was hospitalized Tuesday morning after a large crane at the Viceroy Resort Residences construction site in Snowmass Village toppled over.

The accident happened at approximately 8:20 a.m., just hours before Related WestPac had scheduled a barbecue to celebrate the completion of the first phase of construction at the Viceroy.

The crane struck an iron cross beam, causing an ironworker on the beam to fall 6 feet to 8 feet and hit his head, said authorities at the scene. The worker was wearing a safety harness and was tied off to the beam with a lanyard. He was extricated from the fifth floor and taken to the Aspen Valley Hospital by rescue workers.

The Snowmass fire department then activated the hospital’s trauma team, said firefighter and paramedic Brandon Potter. As a precaution, the victim was airlifted to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, said Steve Alldredge, Related WestPac spokesman, adding the victim was conscious when he was removed from the site.

The crane also hit a small welding tank, causing an explosion, but the fire was quickly extinguished, authorities said.

The crane was lifting a pot of waterproofing tar that weighed close to 10,000 pounds when it collapsed. Initially, authorities speculated that a mechanical failure ” possibly a snapped cable ” caused the boom to collapse. However, they later backed away from that statement, saying it was too early to determine the accident’s cause.

The crane was capable of lifting 45,000 pounds, and it had previously picked up this same pot of roofing tar without incident, officials said. It is owned and operated by Rocky Mountain Structures on behalf of Rocky Mountain Precast, both of Denver.

Immediately after the accident, Nate Holst, supervisor for Viceroy contractor CFC PCL, sounded the alarm, and the site was evacuated within three minutes, authorities said. Most workers were sent home for the day.

Viceroy construction manager Chad Olivier said he was “extremely thankful” the incident wasn’t worse.

“This is the kind of thing that you dread in this industry,” he noted.

Authorities said they would complete a full investigation, and that they had contacted all the proper agencies, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Town Councilman Arnie Mordkin arrived on site immediately after the crane’s collapse and was supportive of the actions taken.

“It looks like everyone’s doing the job they’re supposed to be doing,” he said.