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Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2007, 17:33 GMT
Cranes grounded after collapses
Collapsed crane in Liverpool
One of Falcon Crane Hire's cranes collapsed in Liverpool
A construction equipment hire company has been ordered to take 180 tower cranes out of service after two collapsed, killing three people.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has served a Prohibition Notice on Falcon Crane Hire of Shipdam, Norfolk.

The firm must stop operating all tower cranes in their fleet which have not been examined by an "independent competent person".

Cranes collapsed at Battersea in London in September and Liverpool this week.

Both incidents are being investigated and HSE said it was too early to identify causes of either failure.

Firm cooperating

A spokesman for the HSE said: "We have decided to adopt a precautionary approach and require the company to demonstrate those cranes which have been thoroughly examined by competent persons employed by them, are safe to continue in operation.

"Any lessons learnt from the investigations will be shared with the industry as soon as possible.

"The notice will affect up to 180 tower cranes which are erected currently on construction sites throughout Great Britain."

The HSE emphasised that Falcon Crane Hire Ltd had cooperated fully and had agreed to the steps it would take to comply with the notice.

One man, who was not named and is believed to be a builder, died in the crane collapse in Liverpool on Tuesday.

At Battersea, in September, Michael Alexa, 23, died when he was hit by the crane as he washed his car.

The crane driver who was also killed in the London collapse has not been named.

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18 Jan 07 |  Merseyside
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