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    INCIDENT: HELICOPTER RESCUE FROM TOWER CRANE

    Crane operator plucked to safety during raging fire in Canada 

    Dramatic video footage shows how a massive fire on a construction project in Ontario, Canada triggered the rescue (by military helicopter) of the stranded tower crane operator clinging to the end of the jib whilst the fire raged below.

    Authorities in Kingston now fear the crane could collapse at any time into the smouldering remains of the under-construction apartment building at the heart of the blaze.

    Kingston fire chief Rheaume Chaput said:

    “Right now our biggest risk is having that crane in its current condition. It has  been impinged by fire and is in a damaged condition. We want to make sure we make it safe and get it down.

    We estimate that the fire intensity there was probably about 1,000 degrees, so if it was that hot it could change the makeup of the steel. We don’t know how brittle or how safe it is, so we don’t want to take any chances.”

    Crews are hoping to be able to take down the crane in a “controlled environment” before it gives way or is brought down by heavy winds. You have areas of the building that have collapsed upon themselves and in between them there’s fire and we’re not able to get at it with the water.”

    Authorities created a cordoned-off “collapse zone” and engineers are assessing stability of the structure. The blaze, which forced more than 150 people from their homes, was so intense that surrounding buildings had their windows blown out, a duplex and a hotel were destroyed and vehicles caught on fire.

    While the cause of the fire was still under investigation questions were being raised about the structure of the five-storey building where the blaze began/ Officials said it was being build according to local construction code.

     

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