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Residents want answers on why crane collapsed as HRM encourages public to stay away (3 photos)

Christopher Breckenridge says as wind gusts from Dorian picked up, it was clear something was wrong

A man living near where a construction crane collapsed Saturday wants answers.

Christopher Breckenridge says as wind gusts from Dorian picked up, it was clear something was wrong.

"I was watching it sway more and more and more ... I came running downstairs to tell my father, and as soon as I went back up it was gone," he says. "I started freaking out because, where did this crane go?'

He says it's fortunate no one was injured or killed.

"If a structure is built correctly, there's no justification for merely the wind to knock it all over," he says. "The other cranes in the city all withstood it, why did this one not withstand it," Breckenridge questions.

"We have a right to know what's going on and why this happened."

Halifax Regional Municipality says the province's Department of Labour is investigating and according to deputy mayor Tony Mancini, it's far too early in the process to say what went wrong.

Right now, he says the top priority is to secure the area and safely remove the mangled mess.

"Think of it as a tent pole that has the cord that goes through it ... it's draped over a building with a big cable in it," he explains. "It's balanced at this point in time, so when they take it apart they have to do it piece by piece."

"Once they remove the crane, they have to assess the buildings. Are they structurally sound? Will it be a slight repair or do they have to tear it down again?"

HRM has blocked off a section of South Park Street, along with the sidewalk, and part of Victoria Park for safety reasons and they're urging the public to stay away.

"We just don't know what's going to happen with that crane at any given time," says municipality spokesperson Brendan Elliott.

He says the area is dangerous and police have been having a difficult time keeping people away.

"It's what's going to be known and remembered through pictures from this hurricane, but look at the pictures, look at it on social media, don't go down and take a look," Elliott pleads.

The Nova Scotia Labour Department has issued a stop work order at the apartment building under construction by WM Fares Group.

On Monday, company president Wadih Fares said the crane, owned by Lead Contracting, was in "storm-ready" condition.

"It was supposed to withstand the expected wind speed, and that didn't happen," Fares said in an interview.

He said that "taking the crane down and putting it back up is not a procedure you can do every time there is a wind storm."

Monday evening, Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency evacuated around 40 people from homes and businesses near the crane.

With files from Canadian Press

Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana & lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the community editor for
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