The contractors who were working on a site beside the fatal Canary Wharf crane collapse in 2000 are suing the crane operator and manufacturer for damages

Canary Wharf Investments, Canary Wharf Contractors and subcontractor Byrne Bros, who were working on 5 Canada Square at the time, are launching a lawsuit against operator Hewden Tower Cranes and manufacturer Wolffkran for negligence.

This news follows the partial collapse of a tower crane on a Sir Robert McAlpine site in New Street Square near Chancery Lane in central London on Thursday morning.

Nobody was killed, but surrounding buildings were evacuated. This incident came less than a month after a fatal collapse in Battersea. Both these incidents have fuelled concerns over the safety of tower cranes

The writ issued by the claimants states that they are seeking to recover £800,000, plus interest. A spokesperson for law firm Davies Arnold Cooper, which is representing the claimants, said they are suing for “losses and damage, including damage to property”.

The claim follows a declaration from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that there was insufficient evidence of any party’s responsibility to launch a criminal prosecution.

In June 2004, Hewden Tower Cranes, which was bought by PC Harrington after the accident, settled a legal claim with Yarm Road Business Park and Cleveland Bridge UK for damages of £4.9m and £200,000 in costs.

Last week, the HSE issued a warning to tower crane operators to tighten up checking and maintenance procedures.