Authorities have released the name of the worker who was killed in a frightening crane accident in New Jersey. Jorge Giraldo, 50, was trapped inside the overturned crane in Newark Bay and drowned. Our hearts go out to his family and friends.
The accident occurred last Thursday around 9 AM. Mr. Giraldo was operating the excavating crane when it overturned and quickly sank into the water below, sooner than co-workers could even enter the water.
One man who tried to rescue Mr. Giraldo said that his colleague was perhaps the best operator on the job, a bird sanctuary project near the water just north of the New Jersey Turnpike Extension bridge.
According to witnesses, the crane started to tip forward and then fell top down into the muddy water of Newark Bay.
Newark EMTs, Essex County sheriff’s officers and members of the U.S. Coast Guard tried to remove the trapped worker from the cab of the crane, but it was too late. It ultimately took rescue personnel almost eight hours to remove the worker’s body from the cab of the crane.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating to determine why the crane tipped over.
It appears that the owner of the crane rig, Global Development, has had previous OSHA violations, including one involving crane rigging. However, some details remained unavailable, including the nature of the project along the shore. One worker said it was for a bird sanctuary, while another said it was a flood control project left over from Hurricane Sandy cleanup. Details will certainly continue to emerge.
Source: NJ.com,”Authorities identify crane worker killed in Port Newark accident,” Jun. 6, 2014.