A 125-ft-tall boom lift tipped over in downtown Philadelphia on Oct. 12, killing the operator who was harnessed in the bucket. The worker, James Wilson of Glassboro, N.J., was inspecting exterior masonry of a church, according to Philadelphia Fire Dept. Commissioner Lloyd Ayers. Wilson may have driven the lift over a “manhole or grate” in the sidewalk that collapsed under the weight of the machine, Ayers said. The lift struck a neighboring five-story apartment building, sending debris to the street and injuring three bystanders. Ayers said the area is normally “bustling” with pedestrians, but the accident occurred during the Columbus Day lull. Masonry Preservation Group, Merchantville, N.J., which is managing work on the church, did not return phone calls for comment.

High Lift Machine Topples, Killing Operator in 125-ft Fall
Photo: AP/Wideworld