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Bigge Crane Company Releases New Statement; Blames 'Extreme Local Wind' For Accident

DALLAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - A communications firm representing Bigge Crane and Rigging Co., the owner of a crane that fell onto a Dallas apartment, killing a woman, today released a new statement on their behalf.

In the past decade, OSHA has cited the company with 17 safety violations

Some of those violations the company is still contesting.

OSHA is heading up what's referred to as the forensic investigation regarding the crane accident.

Investigators are trying to figure out why the crane snapped and toppled over on the Elan City Lights Apartments.

The model of the crane that fell is the Peiner SK 415. According to its specifications, the crane is designed for winds of 95 miles per hour.

The high wind speed at the time of the collapse was between 75 and 80 miles per hour.

In the statement below, the company says "extreme local wind conditions caused the crane accident."

Here's the full statement.

"On Sunday, June 9th, a tower crane at a construction site in Dallas collapsed during a storm with extremely high winds. This crane is owned by Bigge, and was leased to Greystar Development and Construction, L.P. – Gabriella Tower Contractor Series

We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life which resulted from this collapse, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families, loved ones, and so many others affected by this personal loss. We are also deeply concerned about those who were injured in the collapse, as well as those who have been unable to return to their homes or have suffered property loss.

We know that those affected -- and the public at large -- have a great many questions about this incident, and we want to provide as much information as we can. Here are the basic facts:

Bigge Crane and Rigging Co. (Bigge) owns the crane in question, and it was leased to Greystar Development and Construction. Bigge commonly leases cranes to construction companies to be used as part of their site construction operations. The jobsite and crane were not in service when the storm and resulting high winds hit the construction site.

Immediately after we learned of the crane collapse our company mobilized personnel to the construction site. All parties are fully cooperating with government regulators, including the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA has been on site and is involved in evidence preservation and collection.

The crane was delivered to Greystar in April 2018 and placed in service at the construction site in April 2018. It was one of two tower cranes Bigge leased to Greystar for work at the site. The other tower crane had recently finished its scope of work and had already been returned to Bigge. When the storm and extremely high winds occurred, the tower crane was not in use and was not being manned at the time of the accident. It is our understanding that the operator has said that when he completed his work the prior day, the crane was placed in the appropriate out-of-service mode per the crane manufacturers requirements.

We believe that extreme local wind conditions caused this crane accident, but what matters most now is that OSHA and independent investigations continue and lead to their official findings. Safety is our number one core value, and we manage our company consistent with industry best practices in safety and training. In the coming months, we will continue to cooperate with all parties and provide any and all assistance possible.

There has been a great amount of inaccurate media reporting on this issue, our company, and the crane industry as a whole. While these inaccuracies are unfortunate, what is even more unfortunate is the tragic loss of life, serious injuries and other negative effects which were caused by this accident. We owe it to those most affected by this tragic accident to get the independent investigation right, and we will most certainly do our part."

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