Battersea Crane collapse Inquest – the verdict
On Monday 12th March, at the end of the inquest into the deaths of Michael Alexa and Jonathan Cloke which happened on 26th September 2006, the jury returned a narrative verdict: Both men died as a result of a crane collapse due to failure of the inner slew ring bolts due to overloading of the counterweight. The overloading was due to an incorrect manual being used in the erection of the crane. On the 25th July 2006, four inner slew ring bolts failed and all of the slew ring bolts were replaced. No investigation was undertaken as to the root cause of the bolt failure. On the 26th July 2006 the crane was returned to service.
At that time there was no adequate formalised process and procedure to allow for faults to be managed, escalated or investigated. In addition there was a vacuum of structured management in the company’s service department.
The Coroner did not allow them to consider a verdict of unlawful killing.