Crane operator called "amateurish;" Crane owner "gutted"

Damage caused by collapsing cranes in Alphen aan den Rijn, August 3rd 2015 (Picture: Twitter/@reinvl)Damage caused by collapsing cranes in Alphen aan den Rijn, August 3rd 2015 (Picture: Twitter/@reinvl)

Crane expert Richard Krabbendam believes that the crane collapse in Alphen aan den Rijn on Monday could easily have been prevented. According to him, the crane operators worked "very unprofessionally and ridiculously amateurish". Peinemann, the company who owns the involved cranes, released a statement saying that they are "gutted" by the accident.

Krabbendam told the Telegraaf that the operation was "doomed to failure". "Too much risk was taken and bizarre decisions were made."

The two cranes were trying to move a bridge section while standing on a floating platform when they collapsed. No one was injured or killed, but an enormous amount of damage was caused. During her visit to the site, Alphen aan den Rijn Mayor Liesbeth Spies called the damage "horrific". "only when you are there with your nose on top of it, do you realize how big the devastation really is", she said according to AD.

Krabbendam, who worked in the transport and lifting industry for almost his entire life, viewed the video footage of the accident. "When hoisting a bridge part you move weight from one side to the other side of the pontoon. There a hydraulic crane simply can not handle it. A child knows that such a platform will falter. It seems as if the operator completely did not know what he was doing." He also questions the logic behind using a floating platform. "Hoisting with two cranes on land is already a risky operation. Let alone with a platform floating on the water."

Construction company Mourik is responsible for the placement of the Juliana Bridge. The bridge deck was manufactured by BSB Staalbouw and the cranes are from Peinemann.

Peinemann released a statement confirming that the cranes belong to them and that the operators have been working for the company for years. "We are gutted by this horrible event and our thoughts go out to those who are involved such as victims, local residents and other stakeholders." the company writes. "At this moment we can not say anything about the cause, the investigation is ongoing."

On Monday night, the Public Prosecutor announced that a criminal investigation into the accident has been launched.