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Falling crane hook proves fatal

A man was killed yesterday at a site in Sliema, Malta after he was hit by a tower crane hook, following the failure of a wire rope.

Zaren Baldacchino, 59, was visiting his son, the owner of Emanuel Baldacchino, the main contractor on the site. He was stood under the crane jib when the hook fell several metres and struck him in the chest. He died at the scene.

Early reports suggested that the crane had been lifting wood shuttering at the time, but the Occupational Health and Safety Authority said it inspected the site and found that, at the time of the accident, the crane was not loaded and therefore ruled out overloading as a cause. It is carrying out further investigations in order to discover what caused the rope to fail.

In the statement, OHSA also reminded construction workers to follow regulations regarding the operation of cranes and lifting machinery and the legal obligation to inspect it when first erected, after any repair and at least once a week in order to avoid potential accidents.

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