Canada: The Halifax crane wreck that forced evacuations and killed jobs - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada The Halifax crane wreck that forced evacuations and killed jobs

16:45  09 october  2019
16:45  09 october  2019 Source:   macleans.ca

More residents evacuated as work to dismantle collapsed Halifax crane begins

  More residents evacuated as work to dismantle collapsed Halifax crane begins HALIFAX — Crews in Halifax have begun work to dismantle a crane that toppled onto a building during post-tropical storm Dorian. The crane collapsed on Sept. 7 and some residents and businesses have since been evacuated. This week, residents in 11 additional units of the Trillium condo building were advised to vacate by Sunday morning so work could begin. A spokeswoman for Nova Scotia's Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal says the project involves removing portions of the crane that are hanging off the building, including front and counterweight jibs.

Power for a little over a day. Then they heard the rap at the door. The Sept. 7 storm had knocked out.

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a sign on a pole on a city street: Collapsed crane in Halifax (Photograph by Aaron McKenzie Fraser) © Used with permission of / © St. Joseph Communications. Collapsed crane in Halifax (Photograph by Aaron McKenzie Fraser)

Two days after Dorian slammed into Halifax, Rebecca Carole and Jack Bateman thought they had made it through the post-tropical storm—formerly a Category 5 hurricane—relatively unscathed, only losing power for a little over a day. Then they heard the rap at the door.

The Sept. 7 storm had knocked out most of Nova Scotia’s power grid, uprooted hundreds of trees and—in what would become the jaw-dropping, unforgettable image of the whole ordeal—toppled a 300-tonne construction crane onto an unfinished, much shorter high-rise. The crane flopped over just a few houses away from Carole and Bateman’s three-story apartment building, sending angle-iron flying about before it came to rest, dangling like a piece of cooked spaghetti over the sidewalk. Looky-loos gathered, mouths agape and phones aloft to capture the wreckage.

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The crane was also the reason why there were two firefighters now standing at Carole and Bateman’s door, matter-of-factly delivering their message: you need to evacuate. You have 20 minutes.

“For how long?” asked Carole.

“Four days to a week,” she recalls the firemen replying. When she and Bateman asked where they should go, one of the firefighters gave her the number for the Canadian Red Cross.

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So the couple scrambled, cramming Michael, their orange tabby, into his cat carrier, throwing clothes into a suitcase, grabbing toiletries and cat food. Out on the sidewalk, other evacuees gathered, befuddled: If the crumpled crane was so dangerous, why had the city waited two days to order them out?

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Karapatan further officially placed the number of victims of human rights violations: forced evacuations or displacement at 7,442, by indiscriminate Philip Alston submitted his final report on the killings; he found that the Armed Forces of the Philippines killed left-wing activists to get rid of communist

Halifax Search & Rescue also serves the community through evidence searches with local police authorities, wilderness survival and education sessions, as well as evacuations and other civil emergencies in cooperation with the Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office and the Halifax

That night, Bateman and Carole crashed with a cousin. The next day, they found a hotel and, later, they rented an Airbnb. Michael the cat was sent to a family in the countryside.

More than a week later, the crane was still in its spaghetti-fied position while lawyers, engineers, insurance companies, and city and provincial officials navigated red tape and myriad liability issues.

Meanwhile, evacuees and businesses in the area bled their fair share of money. By late September, Carole, a 24-year-old film production coordinator, and Bateman, a 23-year-old freelance videographer, had spent hundreds of dollars on food, extra clothes, and rented equipment for Bateman to do his job because he didn’t have access to his own.

Information, they lamented, was hard to come by. “It’s really hard trying to plan your life around the unknown, trying to rent Airbnbs and put down all this money when you’re not even sure if you’re going to need it,” said Carole.

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The crew operating a crane in Lower Manhattan on Friday morning took note of the wind gusts accompanying the falling snow. The workers, officials said, decided they needed to lower the crane to a secure level, and so around 8 a.m., they began to bring down its boom

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After the site remained untouched for 11 days, the province stepped in, declaring it a localized state of emergency and taking over the removal operation. “Any further delay is not acceptable,” said Chuck Porter, Nova Scotia’s minister responsible for emergency management, in a press release. Yet the delay went on.

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The crane is owned by Lead Structural Form Ltd, which did not return calls for comment. Wadih Fares, the developer who owns the site, said the crane was properly positioned for the storm, adding: “We wouldn’t have left it there without being assured of that.” As a gesture of goodwill, he is reimbursing evacuees’ accommodation expenses up to $200 a day.

That doesn’t help the Dairy Bar, an ice-cream shop a few steps away from the crane, which had lost a quarter of its annual revenue. Normally open four months of the year, the business was forced to shut a month early due to the crane collapse. After a week-long power outage, 150 litres of dairy sat rotting in the fridge, and 20 litres of soft serve grew fur inside the $15,000 ice cream machine.

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A crane towering over a high-rise construction site on the East Side of Manhattan collapsed in a roar of rending steel Saturday afternoon, raining death and destruction across a city block as it slashed down on an apartment building, broke into sections, crushed a town house and cut away a tenement facade.

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“Our equipment could be totally written off because of this,” said Emma Adamsky, one of the shop’s owners. “It’s a rough surprise and it just keeps getting worse. Every day we keep receiving more information making things more complicated or even more unclear.”

Other businesses—a hair salon, a law office—were forced to move. And Dany Savickas’ life has also been turned upside down. A cook who worked 70 hours a week at Stillwell, a local beer garden, he was one of 12 who suddenly lost their jobs at the establishment six weeks early due to the crane collapse. He and his dog were evacuated from their apartment next door.

“This takes all my energy and I’m just trying to survive,” said Savickas, 31, who is bouncing from sofas to Airbnbs every few days while looking for work. “I’m struggling to stay positive. I just want my apartment and my life.”

Carole is keeping all of her receipts with the plan to recoup out-of-pocket expenses. “If it requires legal action, then that’s what it requires,” she said.

While it may seem insignificant, what bothers her most is thinking about her 25 houseplants slowly shrivelling inside the two-bedroom apartment. “It’s going to be really crushing to see that all gone.”

This article appears in print in the November 2019 issue of Maclean’s magazine with the headline, “When life is a crane wreck.” Subscribe to the monthly print magazine here.

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Last Sable Island horse in captivity dies at wildlife park in Nova Scotia .
HALIFAX — The last Sable Island horse in captivity has died. The 30-year-old animal, which did not have a name and was declining in health, was euthanized on the weekend at the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park north of Halifax. Head nature interpreter Tabitha Cox says the small, sturdy horse was the last descendant of a group removed from the island in 1960 and sent to three wildlife parks in Nova Scotia. About 400 feral horses remain on the long, narrow, crescent-shaped strip of land about 290 kilometres southeast of Halifax.

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