Falcon pleads guilty on Battersea crane collapse

By Katherine Weir03 March 2016

UK tower crane rental house Falcon Crane Hire admitted two health and safety breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 at Southwark Crown Court in London on Monday 29 February, in relation to a Battersea, south London, crane crash in September 2006.

Crane operator Jonathan Cloke, 37, and local resident Michael Alexa, 23, died in the incident when the tower crane collapsed on a Barratt Homes property development site. Cloke fell to his death from inside the cab and a section of the crane struck and killed Alexa as he cleaned his car in a neighbouring street.

The inquest heard that a mistake - loading the crane structure with 12 tonnes of counterweights instead of eight - was made by Falcon Crane Hire Limited because it had used the wrong instruction manual when erecting the crane.

Judge Alistair McCreath adjourned sentencing until 15 March and agreed for the prosecution to offer no evidence against Douglas Genge, Falcon managing director.

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