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Utah fines operator whose crane cut power in Salt Lake City

Posted at 7:47 PM, Nov 03, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — Inspectors have issued a $1,000 fine to a company whose crane triggered a power outage in the Sugarhouse neighborhood this summer.

The subcontractor cited, Empyre Builders, of Lehi, did not return messages seeking comment on Friday.

According to a report FOX 13 obtained through a public records request, inspectors from Utah Occupational Safety and Health determined an unlicensed person was operating the crane. The report said a qualified person had been supervising someone with less experience, but that supervisor was elsewhere on the job site when the accident happened.

Empyre was a subcontractor on a housing complex under construction at 900 E. 2200 South.

What was described in the report as a “microburst” hit the construction site. Winds pushed the crane. The cables leading to the crane’s hook struck the electrical lines.

No one was injured. About 12,000 homes or businesses lost power – some for hours.

One photo included in the report showed how electricity traveled down the crane, burnt the wood cribbing and uplifted concrete at the crane’s foundation.

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