Falcon Crane Hire admits responsiblity for incident in 2006 which led to deaths of two people in Battersea

The crane firm behind an accident which led to the deaths of two people in Battersea in 2006 is due to be sentenced next month, after it admitted breaching health and safety rules.

Falcon Crane Hire pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act on the first day of what had been expected to be a six-week trial at Southwark Crown Court yesterday. The court has confirmed that sentencing will take place on March 15.

The incident, which led to the deaths of Michael Alexa, 23 and Jonathan Cloke, 37, were caused when an overloaded crane crashed at a Barratt Homes development in September 2006.

Crane operator Cloke fell to his death from the cab of the crane during the crash while bus-driver Alexa was crushed by the crane itself as he was changing a wheel on his car.

Falcon admitted responsiblity for two charges on condition that the prosecution dropped proceedings against the firm’s managing director Douglas Genge.

An inquest into the incident, which was reported in Building, was caused when the crane was loaded with twelve tonnes of counterweights instead of eight due to the wrong instruction manual being used.