By RICHARD SHAW
A construction mishap halted work on the new main building at College of Eastern Utah on Wednesday morning.
At about 7:45 a.m. on July 31, a large crane lifting beams to be fitted for the skeleton of the structure tipped over and crashed across the site.
The construction equipment landed on 400 North between 400 and 500 East, blocking the road and taking down utility cables.
"I had just left the BDAC from my morning workout and was driving toward the west," indicated Sun Advocate publisher Ken Larson. "I saw the crane moving something and, as I drove by, I saw it start to twist and it looked kind of funny. Then I looked in my rear view mirror and there was the arm of the machine laying across the road and the unit itself was bouncing up and down like a kids toy."
Only one injury was reported in connection with the incident.
Apparently, the crane operator cut an arm when the piece of heavy construction equipment toppled.
Public safety dispatch summoned no emergency personnel to the scene because nearly 30 paramedics were near the site due to the mine rescue competition going on at the Bunnell-Dmitrich Athletic center on the college campus.
"There were about 30 guys trying to put a bandage on the injured man's arm," pointed out Darwin Guymon, one of the people attending the competition.
With the rig laying across the road and missing one house on the other side of the street by about 15 feet, construction personnel started putting up barriers to keep vehicle and foot traffic from attempting to enter the area.
The collapse took down what initially appeared to be a power line and officials were concerned that onlookers might get electrocuted. But it turned out to be a cable television line.
The toppling crane also took out a number of girders that had been put up on the new building, a light pole on the campus' edge and the enclosure fence installed for security purposes when the construction project started on the college campus in Price.
"There has been so much noise coming from the site that the boom of the crane coming down was not that unusual," pointed out Ron Roper, a volunteer Price city fireman and an employee at the college.
Shortly after the incident occurred, Price police officers showed up to assume control of the scene and direct traffic. Members of the Price City Fire Department were also dispatched to the location to make sure that the diesel fuel leaking from the base construction rig did not become a hazard.
There was no immediate word as to how the machine may have collapsed.
But according to individuals near the scene when the accident occurred, the girders the crane was lifting at the time of the incident were reportedly no different than what had been done while the machine had been operating at the site during the last week.
The formal investigation into the incident will probably take several days or longer to complete, according to the officials.
Construction on the new CEU structure began in May and it has been progressing well ever since. The general contractor on the job is Jacobsen Construction.