On May 2, the heavy lift crane aboard the offshore installation vessel Orion 1 collapsed during final testing. Investigations into the incident are currently ongoing.

The HLC 295000 crane, which is fitted on Orion 1, was undergoing load tests at Liebherr’s facilities in Rostock. The vessel is currently under construction and owned by Cosco Offshore. DEME was scheduled to accept delivery during the second half of May 2020.

Liebherr said that the responsible authorities and experts agree that a broken crane hook was the cause of the accident, as HLPFI reported here.

According to the hook manufacturer, Ropeblock, the load at which hook failure occurred was provisionally determined at approximately 2,600 tonnes. The crane had been designed to have a maximum lifting capacity of 5,000 tonnes at an outreach of 35 m.

Ropeblock said in a statement: “Ropeblock provided the design of the crane's lifting blocks, including the crane hook. Manufacture of said crane hook was then purchased from a certified supplier who is familiar with parts of similar and larger sizes. Prior to manufacture the design has been verified by the authorised notified body.

“The limited current information seems to confirm that the hook's stem broke. However, the exact course of events and cause remain unknown for now. They are part of an integrated investigation, which will also zoom in on the manufacture of the hook.”

The company added: “With 25 years of service Ropeblock is a respected and proven partner for the heavy lift industry. Consequently, we are sincerely shocked by this incident and will fully commit ourselves to the independent integrated investigation that is now underway to find out the true course of events and cause as soon as possible.”

Ropeblock said that it would be unable to make any further statements with regard to the ongoing investigation. “At Ropeblock we are deeply moved by these events … our hearts go out to the wounded and all others involved in the accident. We greatly appreciate the emergency services' swift and adequate response. At the same time, we are appalled at the impact that this incident has on our customer Liebherr, but certainly also on the industry as a whole.”