GRAND RAPIDS, MI - A crane being used to construct an addition to the Kent County Correctional Facility collapsed Feb. 10, resulting in damages to the building and the nearby fleet facility.
According to Undersheriff Jon Hess of the Kent Count Sheriff's Department, the crane was situated in the middle of the two buildings when the top of the crane fell on the new construction, and the bottom half fell an existing building that houses fleet services and radio services workers. The crane fell on top of an unoccupied vehicle lift in the fleet building, causing structural damages to the building and damages to equipment and tools in the surrounding area.
"The lifts were what kept the roof from not going all the way to the floor," Hess said.
The main Sheriff's office and garage area were immediately evacuated. No vehicles were damaged, and no fleet employees were injured. One construction worker and two inmate trustees suffered minor injuries.
While the buildings are being evaluated for damage estimates and workers attempt to remove the crane, fleet operations have been moved to a facility in use by the City of Grand Rapids.
"They've graciously given us a place to put our tools and parts and two or three bays to do the work," Hess said. He couldn't say how long it would take for the county's fleet building to be in usable condition again, but he said it could take months.
However, as the building was built in the 1950s and removal of the crane could result in further damages to the building, Hess said it was uncertain whether fleet would be able to return to the facility.
By Thi Dao