Survey set up after port crane smash

A FULL structural survey is to be carried out on a £4million crane damaged when one of the world's largest container ships smashed into it.The newest crane at Felixstowe Port was undergoing final tests ready to be commissioned, but it will now be out of action for several months while repairs take place.

A FULL structural survey is to be carried out on a £4million crane damaged when one of the world's largest container ships smashed into it.

The newest crane at Felixstowe Port was undergoing final tests ready to be commissioned, but it will now be out of action for several months while repairs take place.

It is likely to have to be jacked up by high-tech hydraulic equipment and held by cranes in order to remove its bogies - the bottom sections with the wheels - and have new ones put in place.

Port executives are hoping there is not more serious damage to the structure of the 100ft high crane.


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Paul Davey, port corporate affairs manager, said: “The crane has been secured and it is in an area which was already sealed off as it was being commissioned.

“Now it will have to be surveyed, both by our own people and also by representatives of the manufacturers and arrangements are being made for this to happen.

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“Insurance assessors will also have to survey it. All this is likely to take a while before any repairs can start.”

The crane was damaged and knocked off its rails after being struck by the 367 metre long Gunvor Maersk - the longest ship ever to visit the terminal - which was making its maiden call.

The 99,500 tonne ship, which carries 7,929 standard-sized containers, had lost power as it left the berth, and then drifted back to the quay. It suffered just a few scratches.

No-one was hurt in the accident, which happened at 3am on Monday.

Because the crane on Trinity Terminal is not yet fully operational, it is still officially the property of manufacturers Zhenhua Port Machinery Company, of Shanghai, who delivered it last November after a nine-week sea journey.

WEBLINK: www.portoffelixstowe.co.uk

Did you see the accident? Contact Richard Cornwell on 01394 284109.

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