PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Two VT Halter Marine employees remain at USA Health Center in Mobile after two cranes collapsed Wednesday afternoon. That's according to Executive Vice President John Prendergast. The other three employees injured in the accident were treated and released from Singing River Hospital. None of them had broken bones.
WLOX News talked with one of the employees who was injured and released who said he hurt his leg running from under the crane boom. He also said the two others brought to Singing River Hospital also suffered leg injures.
Thursday employees returned to work and the cranes remained on the ground toppled over, but roped off. Prendergast said OSHA and the crane manufacturer, Manitowoc, were both in Pascagoula Thursday investigating the accident.
Employee Joe Drape said a meeting was held Wednesday around 11:30 for all employees on that shift.
"They were letting us know about safety first. That's the main thing, safety first," Drape said. "We can't be in a rush about when we do things like that because the job will get done; we just have to take our time."
Several employees, including Drape, said the accident does make them nervous about working at the shipyard.
"It do, but I still have to feed my family and take care of what I have to take care of," Drape said. "So we know the chance we are taking when we come here."
Multiple cranes were lifting in tandem when there was a failure and two of the cranes collapsed Wednesday afternoon.
"Our number one priority is the welfare of the workers," Prendergast said. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to them and their families."
"I've been praying for the family," Drape said. "I'm sorry about what happened."
There have been other cranes manufactured by Manitowoc involved in accidents. In 2008 one person was killed and three others injured when the crane collapsed, but OSHA blamed the accident on the company operating the crane.
In 2007, a crane boom collapsed. Luckily, no one was injured. And in 1999, one person was killed, three others injured when a crane buckled under the restraints and tumbled backward crashing in the street.
WLOX News reached out to Manitowoc, but has not yet heard back from the company.