x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

'Quite terrifying' as crane falls on to car on Dubai's Sheikh Zayed Road

A building maintenance cradle on the side of a hotel building ripped off from its mooring and smashed on the ground yesterday, damaging a car parked below.

The building maintenance cradle came crashing down and fell over a car outside Millennium Plaza Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai yesterday afternoon. No one was injured. Jaime Puebla / The National
The building maintenance cradle came crashing down and fell over a car outside Millennium Plaza Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai yesterday afternoon. No one was injured. Jaime Puebla / The National

DUBAI // A building maintenance cradle on the side of a hotel building ripped off from its mooring and smashed on the ground yesterday, damaging a car parked below.

The incident happened at the Millennium Plaza Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road at about 2pm. No one was in the cradle or the car below at the time and no one injured.

The cradle fell after a bracket holding one of its support ropes dislodged from the side of a parking block at the rear of the hotel.

A bracket supporting the cradle also fell, landing on a black Mercedes. The roof and windscreen of the car, which is owned by the hotel, were badly damaged.

Stuart Birch, a Briton who noticed the accident soon after it happened, said it could have been a lot worse. "It's quite terrifying," he said. "What if it fell a little to the left and landed on someone on the path? The bracket falling too is a separate hazard. The potential damage is a lot wider."

A spokesman for Dubai Civil Defence said the authority was not aware of the incident.

In October last year, two window cleaners were trapped for four hours in a cradle 15 floors above Khalifa Street, Abu Dhabi, before plunging to their deaths.

The incident led to a tightening of regulation on building cradles. In Dubai, all building cradles are required to be inspected every six months by a third-party maintenance firm approved by the municipality.

"This includes a load test, which should have picked up if there was something wrong structurally," said Theo van der Linde, the operations manager for Cox Gomyl, an international building maintenance company in Abu Dhabi.

"All cradles which are in use require an inspection to ensure it's safe to use."

Security staff at the hotel declined to comment.

mcroucher@thenational.ae