Page last updated at 10:31 GMT, Saturday, 1 March 2008

Cranes struck as ship breaks free

Collapsed crane and ship
The two damaged cranes are likely to be written off

Cranes at the Port of Felixstowe have been damaged after a ship broke free from its moorings in strong winds.

Ropes holding the Chinese ship Zhen Hua 23 in the Landguard Terminal snapped in 80mph (128km/h) winds.

The cargo of cranes on board the vessel collided with land-based cranes used for handling containers at the port, "extensively damaging" two of them.

The port manager Peter Davey said no-one was injured in the incident and an investigation is planned.

Mr Davey said there was no assessment on whether the cargo of three cranes was damaged.

'Work unaffected'

He added: "The main thing is there was no injury.

"However, two cranes have been damaged - it's extensive. They've collapsed. Seriously damaged I would say.

"I can't say how long they will be out of action, in fact it's unlikely they will ever work again, as they will possibly be written off."

The damage to the cranes is unlikely to have a serious impact on the port's capacity for handling freight, as 26 of the 28 cranes at the site are still operational.

Mr Davey added: "It will have an impact on operations but it will be a minor impact.

"They are two of our lesser-used cranes and the Landguard Terminal is the smaller of our two terminals - the vast majority comes into the Trinity Terminal so much of the work will be unaffected by this damage."

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