1 Dead in Crane Collapse at Kansas City Area Power Plant

An 800-ton crane collapsed Friday at a construction site near a Kansas City Power & Light power plant, killing one worker and injuring three others, authorities said.

The victims were contract employees working on a new coal-fired plant at the site, utility spokesman Matt Tidwell said.

The crane tipped over and crumpled near the construction site around 7:30 a.m. Pieces of its boom were scattered and a nearby portable restroom was smashed.

KCPL said the accident occurred as the crane was lowering its boom, which extended about 15 stories high, after workers had determined wind speeds were too strong for safe operation. The crane was not bearing any load at the time.

One victim was released from the hospital and the other two have non-life-threatening injuries, KCPL said.

The identities of the victims were not immediately released. KCPL construction project director Brent Davis said about 1,800 contractors were on site, but he did not know which company employed the victims. French engineering company Alstom is the principal contractor on the project.

The Iatan power plant, about 30 miles northwest of Kansas City near the Missouri River, remained open, but the construction site was shut down. KCPL officials did not expect the accident to delay completion of the new coal plant, set for summer 2010.

Two workers were killed at the plant May 9, 2007, when a high-pressure water line ruptured. Two others also were burned when water in the pipe flashed to steam.