Authorities Quiet About Cause of Crane Crash - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Authorities Quiet About Cause of Crane Crash

WILMINGTON -- A two-month voyage around the globe came to a crashing halt this weekend when the ship carrying four massive cranes smashed into a dredge on the western bank of the Cape Fear River.

Now, one big question remains: Who is at fault? 

Coast Guard officials are investigating the crash, but they remain tight-lipped about who is to blame.

A Coast Guard officer says they did enforce a safety zone when the ship was coming in, and the dredge, contracted out by the Army Corps of Engineers, was in the safety zone. But Lt. Junior Grade Adam Schmid will not say if the dredge is at fault for the collision.

The state port's director of engineering says it was difficult to watch the $33.4 million cranes crash into the dredge.

"It was disheartening to be honest, for any crane to come in like that," Mark Blake said. "It's disheartening to see that kind of damage, but personally I'm a bit encouraged that it's not as bad as it could have been, and we can get it repaired relatively quickly."

He says the majority of the damage is to the catwalks and the electrical systems. But even with the damage, officials say the cranes will be up and running by the originally scheduled date: April 1.

Reported by Kacey Gaumer

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