September 24 - Liebherr has released the findings of its investigation into the collapse of an LR 11350 crawler onto the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, suggesting that the machine was technically faultless.
According to Liebherr's findings, the crawler crane was erected at the time of the accident with a boom length of approximately 190 m, parked outside the Grand Mosque and put into operation. Previously the crane had been used sporadically for assembly works.
In the afternoon of September 11, during a strong thunderstorm with measured winds of 80 km/h and 105 km/h, as well as heavy rainfall, the crawler crane was caught by the wind and tilted over the last support rollers of its crawler tracks.
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 in order to prevent the tilting of the crane, said Liebherr.
The crane manufacturer added that it has taken this tragic accident in Mecca as reason to point out again to the operators of similar Liebherr cranes worldwide the influences that wind has on cranes, and the importance of unconditional compliance with the appropriate regulations mentioned in the operating instructions.