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Hewden sets crane death appeal date

HEWDEN Tower Cranes' appeal against a High Court decision that ruled it was responsible for controlling the collapsed crane that killed three people at Canary Wharf will begin on July 17.

The Court of Appeal date was set after the hire firm decided to try and overturn last November's ruling that it held responsibility for the crane's movements at the time of the collapse and not the contractor at the time, Kvaerner Cleveland Bridge - now called Yarm Road.

The court ruled that the process of 'climbing' the crane up the building falls under the Construction Plant-hire Association contract which stipulates that erection and dismantling of crane equipment is the responsibility of the hire firm.

Cleveland Bridge is claiming around £8 million from Hewden for losses and damages incurred by the steel firm and its subcontractors after the accident caused the project to be delayed.

Three workers were killed in the tragedy when the Wolff Hydro 32BF crane collapsed in May 2000. Hewden Tower Cranes and Cleveland Bridge declined to comment.