A large truck with a specialized crane tipped over Monday on the Sakonnet River Bridge in Tiverton, R.I., stranding two workers inside the bucket of the crane and stopping traffic in both directions, officials said.
The vehicle, called an under bridge inspection unit, was conducting a routine inspection for the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority at the time of the accident, said spokesman Jim Malachowski.
The accident on Route 24 was reported just after 2 p.m.
The truck has a long, jointed arm that extends out from the bridge and hooks underneath it so workers can inspect the sides and bottoms of bridges, Malachowski said.
Two contractors from a private company were in the crane bucket when the truck tipped. A second vehicle, almost identical to the first one, was called to the scene to rescue the workers, Malachowski said. They were transferred from one bucket to the other and returned to the bridge.
“They’re safe,” Malachowski said. The workers are being taken to a local hospital to be evaluated.
The workers followed safety protocols before deploying the arm, Malachowski said.
“There will be a full inspection into why this vehicle tipped when all the protocols and safety procedures were followed,” Malachowski said. “Anything they may learn from this will be incorporated into future safety procedures.”
RITBA, the contractor, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will conduct investigations, Malachowski said.
“These are very common vehicles and they’re very useful,” he said. “They’re not supposed to tip over.”
Heavy traffic at this hour on Route 24 North because of a tipped over crane. The roadway is temporarily closed - seek alternate routes.— RIDOT (@RIDOTNews) August 29, 2016