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Originally published Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at 8:05 PM

Corrected version

State probes crane that shook in Husky Stadium demolition

The state took a crane out of commission Wednesday after a video of the Husky Stadium roof demolition showed it shaking violently back and forth.

Seattle Times staff reporter

YouTube: Husky Stadium Roof Demolition

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The state took a crane out of commission Wednesday after a video of the Husky Stadium roof demolition showed it shaking violently back and forth.

No one was hurt in the dramatic incident, when the southeast roof section of the stadium buckled Tuesday during demolition and crashed down on the bleachers. The stadium is undergoing a $250 million renovation.

In the video, the roof can be seen collapsing in a cloud of dust while the crane swings and bounces, cables flying.

The crane should not have shaken back and forth, said Hector Castro, a spokesman for the state Department of Labor and Industries. Cranes are supposed to remain stable so they can move heavy objects up and down. Swaying can cause objects to fall or even the crane to topple and hurt someone, he said.

"It didn't go according to plan," Castro said.

Still, Joel Simmons, president of Tacoma-based Rhine Demolition, said the roof demolition went well.

"Yes, actually, everything went as planned," he said.

Rhine Demolition is the subcontractor handling the tear-down of the giant stadium.

Simmons said the crane shaking was unexpected, but the crane, which was damaged in the incident, was taken out of service.

He referred further comment to the general contractor, Turner Construction.

The crane operator, Ness Crane, would not comment. Ness is one of the largest and most well-regarded crane operators in the area, Castro said.

Senior project manager Richard Teddy of Turner Construction told The Associated Press a device connected to the crane was cutting roof supports and didn't release quickly enough, causing the crane to be yanked as the roof collapsed.

He said crews have identified some adjustments to prevent a repeat when they bring down the other half of the roof in the coming days.

Here's what happened Tuesday, Castro said: Crews attempted to cut five vertical roof supports. But after four had been cut, the roof collapsed, pulling the cutting device and causing a bouncing effect on the crane.

The state has six months to complete inspections of Ness Crane, operator of the 1989 Ness Link Belt crane, and of Turner Construction, Rhine Demolition and Roberts Engineering. Castro said it's not clear whether the construction project will be delayed because of the inspections.

Ness also operated the Morrow Equipment Co. crane that in 2006 toppled during a construction project in Bellevue, killing a man in his apartment across the street. Ness owned and operated another crane that collapsed in 2008 during the construction of Snoqualmie Casino. There were no injuries in that instance.

Emily Heffter: 206-464-8246 or eheffter@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @EmilyHeffter.

Information in this article, originally published Dec. 21, 2011, was corrected Dec. 22, 2011. A previous version of this story said Ness Crane owned and operated the crane that collapsed in Bellevue in 2006. That crane was owned by Morrow Equipment Co. and operated by Ness Crane.

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