Crane topples at National Cathedral

September 7, 2011

WASHINGTON (RNS) A 500-foot crane toppled over next to the Washington
National Cathedral on Wednesday (Sept. 7), adding to the earthquake
damage that the crane was brought in to fix.

The 500-ton crane crushed several cars and took part of the roof off
the Herb Cottage, a small building adjacent to the cathedral.
No one was seriously injured by the crane, which fell near a walkway
used by students at the cathedral's two affiliated schools.

Before it fell, an operator was using the crane to raise materials
to the church's roof, where engineers are removing debris and
stabilizing structures damaged in a 5.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked
the East Coast on Aug. 23.

The cathedral's spires, flying buttresses and other structures
suffered considerable damage during the quake, and repairs are expected
to take years and cost millions.

The cathedral has been closed to the public and netting has been
erected to protect from falling debris, but President Obama is slated to
speak at a 9/11 memorial concert at the cathedral on Sunday.