Liebherr reports findings for Mecca crane collapse

By Laura Hatton23 September 2015

Crane manufacturer Liebherr has released its findings of the investigations involving the Liebherr crane that collapsed in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

A LR 11350 crawler crane, manufactured by Liebherr-Werk Ehingen, collapsed on 11 September 2015 on the Grand Mosque in Mecca (Saudi Arabia) killing more than 100 people and injuring hundreds.

The report released by Liebherr Group states that the crane did not have a technical defect. According to the findings of the Liebherr crane experts sent to Saudi Arabia, the LR 11350 was erected at the time of the accident with a boom length of approximately 190 metres, parked outside of the Grand Mosque and put out of operation. Previously it had sporadically been used for assembly works.

“In the late afternoon of 11 September 2015, during a strong thunderstorm and sandstorm with measured wind speeds of 80 km/h (according to the CNN Weather Service) and 105 km/h (wind recording of a Liebherr Tower Crane near the place of accident), heavy rain falls and a sudden drop in temperature by 20 degrees Celsius, the crawler crane was caught by the wind and tilted over the last support rollers of its crawler tracks,” Liebherr says.

“The operating instructions of the LR 11350 and the associated Wind Speed Charts show that the crawler crane could not withstand such a high wind load and that the boom should have been lowered to the ground preventatively to avoid the tilting of the crawler crane.”

Liebherr has taken this very tragic accident in Mecca as reason to point out again to the operators of comparable Liebherr cranes worldwide the influences that wind has on cranes and to the unconditional compliance with the appropriate regulations mentioned in the operating instructions.

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