Fire destroys Durban mobile crane

Still of YouTube video taken by SA Trucker.

A mobile crane at the Port of Durban’s Multi-Purpose Terminal caught fire and was seriously damaged in the early hours of 20 May.

The state-owned terminal operator, Transnet Port Terminals (TPT), said in a statement that no one was hurt in the incident and the crane operator was safely evacuated from the machine.

The crane, one of two Liebherr units operating at the terminal, was on the quayside opposite berth D at the time. The vessel on the berth, believed to be the MSC Gabriella, was moved to an outer anchorage.

Operations on the quay were stopped so that the work site could be cleared. In addition, an investigation will be set up shortly to identify the cause of the fire, which is unknown at this stage, and determine the extent of the damage and the overall impact of the incident.

Members of the terminal’s management team have addressed the employees that were on shift and they will be offered counselling services through Transnet’s employment assistance programme.

The terminal has activated a business continuity plan to minimise the impact on operations. Engagements with customers are ongoing.

A video showing the crane dropping the flame-engulfed container it was handling started doing the rounds on social media shortly after the incident.