A 165-foot crane caught fire and its boom collapsed Tuesday morning at a construction site at the southwest corner of Hypoluxo and Lyons roads west of Boynton Beach, Florida.
The crane operator was able to get off the equipment without injury, said Scott Gerard, the vice president of environmental, health and safety with Moss & Associates.
Moss runs the construction site, which will be a senior, assisted-living center called Villages of Windsor.
Photographs and video taken by passers-by show heavy black smoke boiling from the crane about 11:30 a.m. Despite that, many workers and customers at the nearby Town Commons Shopping Center didnâ€™t even know of the fire by Tuesday afternoon.
Moss is doing its own investigation.
The crawler crane was moving from one part of the project to another when it caught fire, which caused the boom to collapse.
It started in the engine compartment and the operator tried extinguishing the flames, Gerard said. The crane was inspected by a third party company within the past 72 hours, he said.
Construction resumed after the incident. Workers at the scene declined to comment.
Junior Farhangi at the Pakmail store in the shopping center across the intersection said he heard about the crane collapse from an UPS worker. The worker tried delivering a package to a nearby fire rescue station and no one was there. The crews were at the site, Farhangi said.
Wells Fargo employees said they saw only a little bit of smoke.
It is the second time a crane collapsed on a construction project this year in Palm Beach County.
In January, a large crane involved in Flagler Memorial Bridge work collapsed across a barge in the Intracoastal Waterway. FDOT blamed equipment failure for the collapse, which caused no injuries and left both the original and the replacement bridge undamaged.