The 22-year-old operator of a mobile crane working at a Canada Line construction site died yesterday when the crane tipped over, pinning him in the cab and crushing him to death.
The man was hoisting a load of materials onto the deck of a bridge connecting Vancouver to Richmond over the Fraser River when the crane toppled, according to Canada Line spokesman Steve Crombie.
The accident occurred just before noon.
“Tragically, the operator was pinned in the cab and subsequently died,” Crombie said.
A large, barge-mounted crane had to be brought in to lift the smaller crane before the operator’s body could be removed yesterday evening.
The crane operator, whose name was not released, had been working on the Canada Line for four to five months, Crombie said.
He added that this is the first fatality associated with the $1.9 billion project since active con- struction began two years ago.
“The safety record has been excellent, so that’s what makes this even more of a tragedy,” he said.
“We’ve had a few lost-time incidents but for a big project like this involving the number of people that this project involves, we’re above the industry average.”
Vancouver police, the coroner and WorkSafe B.C. officials were on the scene yesterday as work on that section of the project has been halted until all investigations are complete.
With files from Rafe Arnott