Specialists set to demolish cranes

VIDEO Specialist demolition crews will be brought in to take apart the two crumpled quayside cranes destroyed in an accident at Britain's biggest port.Investigations into the incident - which happened when a ship carrying five new high-rise cranes was ripped from its moorings by gale-force winds and smashed into the quay - are still taking place.

SPECIALIST demolition crews will be brought in to take apart the two crumpled quayside cranes destroyed in an accident at Britain's biggest port.

Investigations into the incident - which happened when a ship carrying five new high-rise cranes was ripped from its moorings by gale-force winds and smashed into the quay - are still taking place.

Meanwhile, the mangled metal cranes have become Felixstowe's biggest tourist attraction - with hundreds of people visiting the viewing area to see, video and photograph the wreckage.

Throughout the day the car park was packed with shipspotters and sightseers keen to see what was happening with the Crow's Nest café doing a roaring trade.


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Landguard Terminal was closed all day yesterday to allow a clean-up operation to take place in the storage parks, where empty boxes which had been blown about by the winds were being removed.

It was expected to re-open this morning for container delivery and collection, but its shipping operations will be suspended until at least Friday.

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It has been hoped the Zhen Hua 23 with the cranes on board - one bound for a Swedish port, another for Thamesport and three for Felixstowe - would be moved to Trinity Terminal today so the Felixstowe cranes could be unloaded.

However, it has now been decided that this will not happen until Friday.

No other ships will be able to berth at Landguard until then, but once the Zhen Hua 23 is moved there should be one berth and one crane available for small vessels.

The crane bound for Sweden has been badly damaged and engineers are assessing the Thamesport crane, which was damaged when it was at Felixstowe previously, but the Felixstowe cranes appear to have escaped unscathed.

Port managers are talking to specialist firms about dismantling and removing the smashed cranes. They will have to be taken apart piece by piece with cranes and cutting gear. It is expected to take several weeks.

Port head of corporate affairs, Paul Davey said it would be “more than days but less than months” and at this stage it was not possible to say when Landguard would be fully open again.

“At the moment insurance assessors are looking at the damage and investigations are taking place into the cause of the accident, while the cranes on the ship are being checked over,” he said.

Did you see the accident? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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