Construction Crane Collapses In Ohio

See: Crane Collapse Images

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) -- A crane collapsed onto a construction site at an interstate bridge Monday, crushing a tractor-trailer and killing three workers, fire officials said.

Five other injured workers, including one in critical condition, were taken to St. Vincent Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Gloria Enk said. Authorities at the scene said no one else was trapped, and no motorists were injured.

Traffic had been open on Interstate 280 when the crane collapsed about 2:30 p.m. and fell between the northbound and southbound lanes on the highway's approach to the bridge over the Maumee River north of downtown, Toledo fire Capt. Robert Krause said.

Dawn Croydon and her husband were driving south across the bridge when they saw a huge dust cloud. As they approached and the dust cleared, they saw workers hanging limp in their safety harnesses.

``I'm still shaking,'' Dawn Croydon said from her home in suburban Northwood.

The crane was being used in a $227 million project to build a new six-lane freeway bridge alongside the four-lane Craig Memorial Bridge north of downtown.

The 2 million-pound, 315-foot-long steel crane was moving but wasn't lifting any construction materials at the time it collapsed, said Joe Rutherford, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Transportation. The cause of the collapse was under investigation.

Known as an erection truss, the crane lifts 85-ton sections of roadway into place for workers to attach them, Rutherford said. The crushed truck and another tractor trailer had just arrived with sections for the crane. Part of the crane also struck the back of the second truck.

Fire Chief Mike Bell said firefighters pulled injured workers out of the bridge construction wreckage, as well as some pinned by debris on the ground. A smaller crane was used to retrieve the body of one worker hanging from a support for the new bridge.

Lucky Davis, 33, of Toledo, said he was driving north on I-280 about 50 yards from the crane when he heard a crack.

``It was like the loudest thunder I've ever heard in my life,'' Davis said. ``It was like a split second and I heard people screaming. I was in shock.''

The interstate was closed in both directions after the collapse.