Accident involving Select Plant Hire equipment caused injury and damage and loss of business of £4.8m

A Kent plant hire firm has been fined £100,000 after a crane collapse on a hotel in south London which caused damage and loss of business worth an estimated £4.8m.

Select Plant Hire was fined at the Old Bailey, after admitting breaching health and safety law.

The prosecution followed an incident in June 2007, when the top of a tower crane toppled backwards almost 200ft, and fell into the Croydon Park Hotel, leaving the cab driver hanging for hours through the roof of one of the rooms.

Crane operator John Young, 39, suffered multiple fractures in the incident, while three other workers were left trapped in the tower of the crane. They were later release unhurt.

Young however, was kept in a body brace for 10 weeks, and the court heard that he remained in pain still, and continues to suffer nightmares.

The incident arose as workers attempted to extend the mast of the crane by removing fittings, leaving the cab balancing on the top.

But the prosecution told the court that two essential bolts and washers had not been used to secure the cab.

The court was informed that new safety measures had now been put in place, including improved training.