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Crane spews flames, collapses at Sydney construction site

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 7:45 PM EST, Tue November 27, 2012
  • Crane collapses in Sydney, Australia
  • No one is injured, crane operator Lend Lease says
  • The company also managed the construction site where crane collapsed in New York
  • That incident happened during Superstorm Sandy.

(CNN) -- A construction crane caught fire Tuesday in Sydney, Australia, spitting flames nearly 32 feet (10 meters) into the air before partially collapsing.

No one was injured in the Tuesday morning incident, crane operator Lend Lease said.

The worker steering the crane escaped down a ladder as it burned overhead, The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported, citing acting Fire Superintendent Josh Turner.

The company is the same one that was managing a New York construction site where a crane partially collapsed during Superstorm Sandy in October.

The collapse Tuesday at the University of Technology Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology construction project happened two weeks after union officials shut the site down over concerns about diesel fuel leaking from the crane, the Morning Herald reported, citing union official Brian Parker.

It was not immediately clear if that reported leak had anything to do with Tuesday's collapse, but firefighters believed diesel fuel was involved in the fire, the Morning Herald cited Turner as saying.

Lend Lease said the site is regularly audited for safety.

The crane was 213 feet (65 meters) tall, the Morning Herald reported, citing fire and rescue authorities.

The fire and collapse drew hundreds of gawkers onto the streets to record the incident with cell phone cameras.

The company said it was working with authorities and unions to investigate the incident.

In late October, gale-force winds from Superstorm Sandy caused a construction crane to collapse atop what will become an upscale apartment high-rise.

The collapsed New York crane was operated by Pinnacle Industries. Lend Lease, the construction manager on the project, said the crane had been inspected days before the storm and was determined to be properly placed for hazardous weather.

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