A crane operator died when his 100-ton crane toppled over Thursday morning at a construction site where a garden store burned down last year in Conroe.
The crane fell over about 10 a.m. at 16778 Interstate 45 near Texas 242 at the site of the former Garden Ridge store, according to the Conroe Police Department.
The crane was on its side when Conroe firefighters arrived at the scene. They found the body of the operator, Louis Ruiz, 56, within the wreckage, authorities said.
The force of the impact crushed the cab. More cranes were pressed into service to secure the scene and pull away the wreckage. The body of the Porter man was finally removed about 7:15 p.m., officials said.
The cause of the collapse wasn’t known but Conroe police officials at the scene said it appeared Ruiz was trying to lift a concrete wall.
No other injuries were reported.
Ruiz was working at the site where crews are rebuilding the store that burned down in October 2011. Police said investigators are trying to determine what caused the crane to fall over. However, police added, there appeared to be no foul play or criminal intent involved.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be investigating the wreck, officials said.
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