[VIDEO] 5,000-tonne crane of new DEME vessel collapses

The 5,000-tonne heavy-lift crane of DEME’s new installation vessel Orion has collapsed while undergoing load tests at Liebherr’s construction yard in Rostock. A few people sustained minor injuries but the vessel has been significantly damaged. This is the second incident at Liebherr’s Rostock facility in a short amount of time.

The vessel was still under construction but nearing completion when the crane collapsed on Saturday 2 May. DEME has issued a statement saying the incident happened while performing load tests. According to the German police, the load test concerned the lifting of a pontoon. During this test, the rope broke and the upper half of the crane tilted; it hit the ship and the quay wall.

There were 120 people on the ship at the time of the accident. Five people who were in the crane’s cabin were injured, two of whom had to be treated in hospital.

The Orion is owned by Cosco Offshore and was scheduled to be delivered to DEME in the second half of May. Undoubtedly the delivery will be drastically delayed. The crane is severely damaged and the vessel itself will likely have sustained damage as well. DEME said a full damage assessment will be carried out in the upcoming days and weeks.

Orion arrived in Rostock in November last year to be fitted with Liebherr’s first HLV 295000 crane, which has been designed to lift super heavy loads up to 5,000 tonnes. For Liebherr, this is a “landmark offshore project” as the company is expanding its range of offshore vessel cranes.

Jumbo incident

It is the second incident at the Rostock construction yard in a short amount of time. In February, two Liebherr mobile harbour cranes fell off the heavy-lift vessel Jumbo Vision during loading operations. It was initially reported that the Liebherr cranes had come into contact with the shipboard cranes of the vessel, but Jumbo Shipping later issued a statement that there’s no evidence that supports this claim. It took weeks to salvage the cranes from the port basin.

Author: Tobias Pieffers

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