License article

Lend Lease suffers second crane collapse in a month

The crane that collapsed on a construction site at the University of Technology, Sydney, on Tuesday, after earlier catching fire, is the second crane operated by Lend Lease to collapse in the past month.

During superstorm Sandy in the US, a crane on a Manhattan skyscraper building site buckled as winds peaking at around 155km/h left it dangling precariously 74 storeys above the city.

Lend Lease is being sued over the incident in a federal court in New York by two dentists who accuse the company of negligence for "failing to safely prepare, maintain, operate and secure" the crane, which they say cost them "substantial income" due to the closing of their businesses as well as a "loss of goodwill and reputation".

"Businesses and individuals within the evacuation zone were deprived of the use and enjoyment of their offices and homes, respectively, despite still having to pay expenses including but not limited to rent, payroll and operating expenses," the plaintiffs said in a complaint lodged earlier this month.

The tower crane that collapsed in Sydney is 65 metres high, according to Fire & Rescue NSW, and is different to the one in New York. It is understood the Sydney crane - an M600D - is manufactured by Favelle Favco, a global crane-making firm which has an Australian office in Preston, south-west of Sydney.

The M600D tower crane can hold a maximum of 50 tonnes and has a minimum boom length of 36.6 metres, though can extend out to 73.4 metres. It runs on diesel fuel and works on hydraulics.


Tower cranes are generally fixed to the ground using a concrete slab though can sometimes be attached to the sides of structures for support. The jib, or operating arm, extends horizontally from the crane and a "luffing" jib - which the M600D has - is able to move up and down.

Many of the newer models of cranes have a small toilet and most tower cranes can self-erect but usually first need the assistance of a mobile jib attached to a truck to get started.

When contacted for comment, Favco's Preston office would not confirm or deny whether the crane was one of theirs, despite the fact the model number on its side indicates it was.

A staff member said the company had "never had a matter like this" that it had to deal with.

- with Bloomberg