Nova Scotia

Crane collapse site declared localized state of emergency

Minister responsible for Nova Scotia's Emergency Management Office says emergency declaration will ensure the crane site is cleared faster.

Minister responsible for EMO says emergency declaration will ensure the crane site is cleared faster

A crane on South Park Street in Halifax toppled onto a building under construction during Hurricane Dorian. On Wednesday, the site was declared a localized state of emergency. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

The site where a crane collapsed onto a building in downtown Halifax has been declared a localized state of emergency.

Chuck Porter, the minister responsible for the province's Emergency Management Office, said the declaration was required so the site is cleared in the fastest and safest way possible.

"By doing this, it allows the province to step in to oversee the crane's safe removal," Porter said at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon. "We're doing this so we can do this in a more timely manner."

The crane toppled onto a building on South Park Street in downtown Halifax on Sept. 7, as Hurricane Dorian approached the region.

The localized emergency area is defined by the province as the "city block within the boundaries of Cathedral Lane, and bordered by Brenton Street, Brenton Place and Spring Garden Road."

'Essentially, we're the insurance company,' says province

Labi Kousoulis, the minister of Labour and Advanced Education Department, said declaring a localized state of emergency "indemnifies the parties coming in and moves the liability onto the province."

Harbourside Engineering and Cherubini are part of the team involved in removing the crane.

Kousoulis said part of the delay in the crane removal was who would be liable if any further damage was caused to the building.

"And at this point, declaring the state of emergency moves indemnity onto the province and away from those two organizations," he said.

Kousoulis said "essentially, we're the insurance company for those two organizations."

Unclear who will pay for crane removal

Dozens of homes in the immediate area were evacuated and some nearby businesses have not been able to reopen since. Porter said there are no additional evacuations in effect because of the emergency declaration.

The state of emergency will be in effect for 14 days, unless the province ends it or extends it.

The Nova Scotia Labour and Advanced Education Department is investigating the crane collapse, so it's unclear who will have to pay for the removal.

"At this point, we don't have the exact cause of the crane fall, so we can't put that liability anywhere," Kousoulis said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anjuli Patil

Reporter

Anjuli Patil is a reporter and occasional video journalist with CBC Nova Scotia's digital team.

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