The crane operator was able to jump free, according to Missouri River Energy Services, who owns and supervises the large-scale dam project.
The accident happened when crews from Ames Construction were working to remove sheet piles that formed a coffer dam near the tailrace of the Red Rock Dam. Two cranes were being used to lift the sheet piles up and away from the coffer dam, and as those cranes were lifting up a set of sheets, the water current carried them toward the dam, causing one crane to tip backward and the other crane to tilt forward slightly.
The crane that was stationed on the control tower access road between the powerhouse and the spillway guide wall is still on its back at this time and the second crane, which was stationed in the coffer dam itself, remained in place. The cranes were both on dry ground, so no river water was affected, nor was there any damage to the dam itself.
Missouri River Energy Services is working with its general contractor, Ames Construction, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to inspect the site and determine if there was any
damage to the spillway guide wall just below the dam. Ames Construction is conducting a full investigation of the incident.
MRES officials commended the Ames crane operators for their quick thinking and response as the cranes started to tip. “We are extremely thankful that no one was injured in this event,” said MRES CEO Tom Heller.