New height restrictions have been handed down for the Cayman Islands Port Authority container storage facility, after empty containers were toppled over by a crane operator Tuesday.
“We had the empty containers stacked on each other for storage purposes,” said Acting Port Director Joseph Woods. “The containers were stacked at the maximum of six containers high. At that height, there should still be clearance for a seventh container. The crane uses a set of cables to lift the containers, but it seems that there was some issue with the clearance.”
Woods says while the crane operator was moving a container over the stack of six containers, the crane snagged the sixth container, causing it to fall over.
“This is the third time we’ve had an incident like this is recent weeks,” said Woods. “In fact, I think just over the weekend we had a container fall, but it was in the middle of the storage pile. Today, the containers were on the outside, and they fell, but were caught by the [towers of the crane].”
Woods said that, as a result of the recent toppling of containers, the maximum storage height has been reduced to five containers.
“This will reduce my storage capacity from 720 containers to 600,” he said. “I’m currently at 500 containers, and we expect more to arrive within the next few days.”
Woods said his short-term plan to address the issue will be to “truck the empty containers away”, but eventually he hopes to expand the storage facility.
“We have had initial talks about expanding the facility, but if it does happen it won’t be until probably October,” he said.
No one was injured and there were no reports of damages to goods.