Nova Scotia

Province issues stop-work order at site of crane crash

Nova Scotia has issued a stop-work order on the downtown Halifax construction site where a crane collapsed Saturday afternoon.

Crane toppled onto building under construction during approach of Hurricane Dorian

A crane on South Park Street snapped in several places from the power of the wind on Saturday. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

Nova Scotia has issued a stop-work order on the downtown Halifax construction site where a crane collapsed Saturday afternoon as Hurricane Dorian approached.

The province's Department of Labour said Sunday the order was issued at the site of the incident on South Park Street and to the developer responsible for the crane, WM Fares Group.

The department's occupational health and safety division has also launched an investigation into the circumstances.

No one was injured when the crane collapsed.

Spokesperson Shannon Kerr said a structural engineer is needed to assess the situation and to develop a plan to determine where and when it will be safe to begin the cleanup.

A dramatic image

The crane collapse was caught on a cellphone and has become one of the most dramatic images of Dorian, which slammed into Nova Scotia causing widespread power outages and other damage.

A construction crane has collapsed off a building in Halifax as the city is pounded by heavy winds from Hurricane Dorian. 0:37

Christopher Breckenridge lives across the street from where the crane collapsed. He said he was at his window watching the crane sway wildly and went to go tell his father. He said when he came back to the window a minute later, the crane was gone.

"It's just astounding," said Breckenridge. "One minute you're looking and you see this thing moving, and the next minute it's not there."

He said lots of people have been coming to the site to take photos of the crane.

Public told to stay away from site

Authorities are asking the public to stay away from the site.

"Obviously, it's a big safety concern so [it] is cordoned off completely," Erika Fleck of Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency said during a briefing Sunday.

At the time of the briefing, she said police had visited the company prior to the crane collapse to discuss securing construction material.

At the same briefing, Halifax Regional Police Chief Dan Kinsella said he did not know if that had happened.

"Our messaging was broad-based around all construction sites, all areas to secure any looser and secure items that may become a potential projectile hazards through the course of the storm," Kinsella told reporters.

Later, Halifax police said they had not talked to the company before the storm.

Residents looking for answers

Breckenridge said he and people in the neighbourhood are wondering why the crane wasn't secured by the company, and why information from authorities has been confusing.

"We just want answers, really," he said.

Halifax police issued a release later Sunday reminding the public that South Park Street between Spring Garden Road and Brenton Place remains closed to vehicles and pedestrians until further notice. Barricades are in place.

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With files from Brooklyn Currie

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