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Two injured in bridge crane collapse at Superior industrial site

A massive, century-old bridge crane being prepared for demolition collapsed prematurely Thursday at an industrial site in Superior, sending two workers to the hospital.

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Superior firefighters and police respond to the site of a crane collapse in Superior today.

A massive, century-old bridge crane being prepared for demolition collapsed prematurely Thursday at an industrial site in Superior, sending two workers to the hospital.

The accident happened at the Graymont lime plant, on the waterfront near U.S. Highways 2 and 53, at about 3:45 p.m. as two demolition workers were up on the crane preparing stress points to ensure it collapsed properly, said Superior Deputy Police Chief Matt Markon. The crane was set to be demolished on Sunday.

The workers had just cut a copper bus bar, part of the electrical service to the crane, when the structure collapsed, authorities said.

Superior Fire Chief Steve Panger said firefighters rescued one worker who was dangling from a lift by his safety harness. A second man who had been up on a separate lift was already on the ground by the time firefighters arrived. Markon said the man fell an estimated 75 feet when the bridge collapsed.

Both men were conscious and walking around, Panger said, and they were taken to St. Luke’s hospital for evaluation.

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“We don’t know the extent of their injuries,” Panger said.

Graymont’s website says the Superior plant brings in limestone by freighter, from quarries in Michigan, and processes it several kinds of calcined lime products, as well as finely ground limestone. The bridge crane had been used to pick up raw material on the site and transport it to be processed in kilns. The bridge crane was more than 100 years old.

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