In a spectacular example of lifting gear failure, this 132 ton EMD GT46C-ACe locomotive was dropped while being transferred from the ship to the pier.

The lifting gear suffered a complete failure, that’s obvious, but why?

Here are some questions that will most certainly be looked at:

1) Was the rigging inspected by a qualified rigger?

2) Were the load ratings of the rigging used legible and physically attached to the slings used?

3) It appeared that a wire rope failure occurred.  Was the correct shackle size being used?

4) How much wear was on the wire rope before this rigging operation?  Were any strands noted as worn or broken?  If so, to what percentage?

5) Were there any permanent kinks, birdcaging, or signs of crushing in the wire rope before this lifting operation began?

6) Was the weight and the center of gravity of the locomotive known?

7) How was the sling led underneath the locomotive?  Any sharp points?

Any other considerations?



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  • grahamthepipe

    Persons viewing this incident may wish to google Elder Dempster/Onitsha and read the history of this ship with a 150 ton SWL Jumbo. Was on her, in 1958, SAFELY loading and discharging locomotives and ‘small’ marine craft, up to the maximum SWL.

  • grahamthepipe

    Surprise, surprise! West Africa ! Where else COULD it happen ?

  • rRobertSmith

    I have watched this five times in slow motion and seems like the pad eye on the train pops (first!) and then (of course!) the rig fails (excess dynamic load), so it’s the factories fault for not putting on a heavy duty pad eye…all these bullshit questions about “was it rigged properly” are mote.

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