Texas Worker injured when crane tips onto building

Crane fell onto the Dallas Museum of Art; operator's injuries are not believed to be serious

By Naheed Rajwani
The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS — An iconic Dallas sculpture that was built using a crane was nearly destroyed by one Friday at the Dallas Museum of Art.

A crane truck tipped over about 9:30 a.m. onto the museum’s roof, mere feet from hitting Ave, the red steel sculpture. The accident happened on the museum’s south lawn, where a tent was being set up for the Art Ball on April 11.

The museum said the crane operator was taken to Baylor University Medical Center, but his injuries were not believed to be serious.

“The operator was injured when the crane fell,” museum officials said in a written statement. “He was ambulatory when the ambulance arrived on the scene.”

The company that owns the crane declined to comment.

James Walker was sitting in his truck waiting for the museum to open when the crane truck fell. He said the crane operator seemed to be fine.

“The man sitting inside bumped his head on the window,” he said. “I don’t think he got hurt that bad.”

Jennifer Caveness, a trainer at Trophy Fitness across the street, was working with a client when she saw the truck fly up as the crane smashed into the roof of the building.

From the second-floor gym, Caveness saw a handful of workers scatter away from the crane, she said.

None of the museum's sculptures were damaged, but it was a close call for Mark Di Suvero’s Ave.

The 12,000-pound sculpture has been part of the Dallas Museum of Art's collection since the 1970s. Di Suvero, a former crane operator in New York, pioneered the use of cranes to sculpt.

“If you’re working a crane — I am a union crane operator — you know very well that your responsibility isn’t just to the steel that you’re lifting,” he told Sculpture Magazine in a 2005 interview, “but to the lives of co-workers who depend on you doing the right thing.”

It remains to be seen who will be held responsible for the damage caused by Friday’s accident. What led to the accident was still under investigation.

By Friday afternoon, crews had removed the crane from the museum’s cracked roof.

©2015 The Dallas Morning News

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