Crane operator electrocuted, badly burned in Coquitlam

Burned in crane fire

A crane operator was electrocuted and badly burned Wednesday when a fire broke out in the cab of his crane at a construction site in Coquitlam.

Fire Chief Jim Ogloff said emergency crews were surprised when the man was able to climb down the 100-foot lattice to the ground on his own before being taken to Royal Columbian Hospital.

"It is amazing what your body can do when you face a serious trauma," said Ogloff. "It's incredible he was able to get down."

The incident occurred about 4:30 p.m. at Westview Street and Dansey Avenue. Firefighters believe some kind of an electrical issue caused the incident, with grease at the boom point where the crane turns catching fire.
WorkSafeBC was called in to investigate. 

Ogloff said crews were able to extinguish the blaze using a large aerial ladder, dousing the flames from about 150 feet in the air.

He added that firefighters initially geared up for a high-angle crane rescue, which he said they are trained for, but it was unnecessary when the victim was able to get down to the ground on his own.

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