A crane operator working in Carson received numerous cuts and bruised his back as he rode out the fall of a 100-foot-high platform crane Saturday morning at a hotel construction site, the Los Angeles County Fire Department reported.
Richard Curry, 29, who lives in Texas, was hospitalized at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance after the accident at Carson and Bonita streets near Carson City Hall.
"He's very lucky," said Carson Fire Department Capt. Roger Sorenson, who added that Curry said the rig landed in mud, and "we're speculating that saved him." Curry was in an enclosed operator's cage on the top of the platform crane when it fell, Sorenson said.
Curry was working on the 118-foot-long horizontal arm on top of the crane mast when it apparently was thrown off balance after a cable snapped while lifting a 5,000-pound load of wooden platforms. Losing the load threw the crane out of balance, Sorenson said, and the horizontal arm pivoted toward the ground until it was parallel with the vertical mast of the crane, then "it started to rock and the whole thing fell over."
Curry works for Texas-based San Antonio Forming, which is doing crane work on the Ibis Hotel project.