HSE continue to probe crane accident

Further details have emerged about an accident at a Newcastle building site in which a worker suffered serious leg injuries.

Further details have emerged about an accident at a Newcastle building site in which a worker suffered serious leg injuries.

The 63-year-old from Stockport is understood to have been part of a team of men dismantling a crane at the Hancock Museum, on the Great North Road, when a section of ballast - used for weighting the crane down - fell off a lorry.

The heavy weight landed on his legs, breaking his ankle and causing injuries to his other knee.

An investigation was immediately launched by the Health and Safety Executive after Sunday's accident, and inspectors have drawn up a list of workers and supervisors at the scene at the time of the accident.

Interviews are now planned to work out the exact circumstances leading up to the incident

A spokeswoman for the HSE said: "This was a mobile crane that was being dismantled and the counterweights were being loaded on to a lorry at the time when one apparently toppled off the back."

"It is impossible to say how long investigations like this can take because they always depend on the circumstances. We will be talking to the company and the people involved to find out exactly what happened leading up to this."

The Hancock is currently closed as part of a massive revamp that will see it reopen in 2009 as the Great North Museum with new galleries, a purpose-built education suite, special exhibitions gallery and a public library.

Newcastle University and Newcastle City Council have each pledged £3m to the project, along with £9m Heritage Lottery funding and a further £7m from One NorthEast and the European Regional Development Fund.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer