Crane for bridge construction collapses in downtown Fairbanks, spills fuel into Chena River

Diesel fuel has spilled into the Chena River after a huge crane being used on a bridge construction project in downtown Fairbanks crashed into the waterway.

A spokeswoman with the state Department of Transportation says the spill Tuesday is estimated at less than 50 gallons.

Meadow Bailey says state environmental regulators are at the scene and work is under way to contain the slick with absorbent booms and pads.

A protective fabric curtain was in place along the project area, lining the river banks and hanging into the water.

Bailey says more booms have been placed downriver as well.

No injuries were reported in the accident, although the crane operator was taken to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital as a precaution.


Information from: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner,

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A huge crane being used on a bridge project in downtown Fairbanks fell Tuesday morning, crashing into the Chena River. No injuries were reported.

Witnesses told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner that they heard a loud crashing noise just before 11 a.m. as the crane fell on its side.

"I heard something loud, and I thought maybe they dropped a pipe," said Joe Fields, who was remodeling a nearby church. "It took me two or three minutes, but then I realized that the crane wasn't there anymore."

The base of the crane was originally on the north side of the river. The News-Miner reported that after it fell, the crane extended across the river with its tip on the south shore.

Police and emergency medics responded within minutes, and medics treated the crane operator a few feet from the overturned crane.

Construction on the Barnette Street Bridge began in April.


Information from: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.