Driver escapes as crane plunges into Leeds-Liverpool canal

The incident scene. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
The incident scene. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
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AN investigation has been launched after a 64-tonne crane plunged into the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Apperley Bridge.

The driver leapt to safety when the crane flipped onto its roof after the ground crumbled beneath it at Dobson Locks.

An investigation has been launched to find out why the towpath gave way while The Canal and Rivers Trust was carrying out preparation work to replace the lock gates.

Part of the towpath was fenced off until the crane, which is thought to weigh around 64 tonnes, is removed from site following the incident on Friday morning. (Feb 1)

Bungs were placed around the crane, which can lift up to 90 tonnes, to prevent fuel from leaking into the canal and surrounding waterways.

Vince Moran, operations director at the Canal and River Trust, said he was thankful that the driver was not injured following the “rare incident”.

Mr Moran said: “First and foremost I am thankful that the driver or anyone nearby wasn’t injured.

“When planning and undertaking heritage repairs to any of our waterways we take steps to ensure that they meet stringent safety measures.

“Of course we need to understand why this particular patch of towpath gave way and will urgently review the circumstances behind this rare incident and apply any lessons learned from it.”

The Health and Safety Executive- a public body that promotes workplace safety -has been informed about the incident.