1 Dead In Kauffman Crane Accident

One worker was killed and another injured Tuesday when a crane tipped over at the construction site of a Kansas City, Mo., performing arts center, police said.

The two men were in the bucket of the 100-foot-tall JLG Lift when it fell away from the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and landed across a platform of steel beams at about 1:40 p.m., officials said.

One of the men was pronounced dead at a hospital, said police spokesman Darin Snapp. The other was listed in serious but stable condition and was able to talk. Snapp said both men were in their 30s, but their identities were not immediately released.

The men were installing steel panels on the building for Detroit-based subcontractor Midwest Steel, said Kyle McQuiston, spokesman for Kansas City-based general contractor JE Dunn Construction Group.

Construction on the 13-acre site began in 2006 and is scheduled to be finished in 2011. The $400 million center will be the home of the Kansas City Symphony, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City and the Kansas City Ballet.

McQuiston said the construction site had no previous fatalities or injuries.

Workers were sent home for the day while investigators examined the site, said JE Dunn president Dan Euston.

“We have an onsite safety team down there and are working with investigators, both local and any federal agencies, to determine what caused this accident,” Euston said. “We’re very deeply saddened by this event. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the families.”

Crane accidents kill up to 82 construction workers each year in the United States, according to the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration. A crane at the construction site of a new federal courthouse in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, also collapsed Tuesday, but police say no one was hurt.

A construction worker died last month after falling from a lift that toppled over and struck a downtown Philadelphia apartment building.

And two New York City crane collapses in 2 1/2 months during the spring of 2008 left nine people dead. Investigators have blamed faulty rigging of an 11,000-pound crane part in the first of those accidents, which killed seven people on March 15, 2008.