12:25 pm, Thursday 22 July, 2010
A mobile crane has burst in flames after falling from a bridge near Collinsville on Tuesday.
The crane driver has gotten out of the equipment in the nick of time before becoming engulfed by the fire.
The 44-year-old Bowen man sustained head lacerations due to the accident.
The crash, which happened in the early hours of the morning, incinerated the crane and caused damage to Jack Philps Bridge.
The accident blocked both lanes of the Bowen Developmental Rd until around 2pm, when one lane was opened. Both lanes were cleared for traffic after 5.30pm.
A contractor who had been driving in front of the crane went back to the scene after hearing about the incident.
“He should be dead. How he got out, I don’t know,” he said.
“It looks to me like he’s hit the bridge and speared down the embankment and it caught on fire. He’s dropped about four metres.
“He’s got a gash in the back of his head … he must have copped a fair thump.”
He noted the bridge did not have a good approach.
“It doesn’t surprise me this has happened. I’d say he’s met another vehicle on the bridge and its gone from there,” he said.
“He was driving a 20 tonne mobile crane to the Sonoma coal mine just west of Collinsville.
“The roof of the cab has been torn away from its mounting and the crane’s boom is inside the cab.”
The man was transported to Collinsville Hospital with what was to treat what was initially believed to be minor injuries.
RACQ-CQ Rescue assessed the man’s injuries before taking him to Townsville Hospital.
According to spokeswoman Leonie Hanson, they decided to seek further medical treatment due to the driver’s head injury.
“The doctor was particularly concerned about lacerations to the back of the man’s head,” she said.
“The doctor was unsure of the extent of the head injury and thought he was better off in a better equipped facility.”
The first fire crews who responded to the scene saw the crane being covered in flames. They failed to put out the fire because they did not have sufficient water.
“A grass fire had also started and because we didn’t have enough water to get the crane fire out we got the grass fire under control,” a Queensland Fire and Rescue spokeswoman said.
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