FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: Businesses back to normal after bent crane forces evacuations
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A bent construction crane in downtown Wilmington forced the evacuation of several buildings, along with some streets being closed. The sub-contractor says building were evacuated as a precaution as work crews tried to unhook the crane.

"We're in the Self Help building on the second floor. The fireman came in and asked us to evacuate, because of the danger of the crane possibly toppling over," said Beverly Dixon, who was forced from her office around 11:30 a.m.

The crane was working on the future Courtyard Marriott hotel on Grace and Second Streets. Around 9:30 a.m. the arm of the crane buckled while trying to move a metal beam.

"I'm thinking we're probably not going back in today," Enan Baldwin said as she waited on the street.

Baldwin and several others who work at 221 Second Street say the evacuation caught them off guard.

"I thought one of my staff members was joking that we had to leave the building," Andrew Gray said. "We came outside, and everyone was standing around looking at this bent crane."

Minutes later firefighters showed up to help evacuate surrounding buildings. A section of Second and Front Streets were also closed off as crews worked to get a replacement crane in place.

It took a little more than two hours, but crews finally disconnected the buckled crane and folks were allowed back in their buildings.

No injuries were reported.

The bent crane was moved to an area on site that would not pose a risk to surrounding buildings.

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A sky hook and a 100' of chow line would have fixed everything in a jiffy!

Vibratory hammers and hydraulic cranes don't always work well together. If there's a weak link that's the way to find it!!!!!!

Although there was probably no danger to the building I work in. We were not evacuated till around 1:00 PM. I say around because I was in the bathroom and no-one knocked on the door or anything. I looked out the window and saw people standing around. I went down to see what was going on and the fireman at the door was surprised that I was inside.

They could have set the fire alarm off in our building to get people out.

...I know there has to be a few of you out there.

Somebody under calculate the working load? Not a good advertisement for Edwards Cranes.

For your information sir....Edwards always supplies a crane with at least 150% of the load capacity. Your comment shows your ignorance.

did no one inpect the crane before they used it or did someone overload it simple mistakes like this

If you're going to throw rocks from the peanut gallery, you might want to put, at least, an ounce of thought into your comments. At least, being anonymous, your former teachers are off the hook.

A nineteen word sentence with about a dozen grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes. Whoever the crane company operators are, I doubt they are fearing much with the likes of you, brainiac.

are done on a regular basis and all operators have load charts in the cranes to determine the working load of the boom taking into consideration the reach and weight being lifted. They even have scales in the crane that can measure the weight of the load. There is also a computer in the crane that will warn an operator when he exceeds the working limit. We had a boom failure in Raleigh when I worked for a crane and rigging company there and it was determined to be metal fatiuge, something that is unforseen and hard to detect. Edwards has some great operators as I personally know alot of them.