Snapped Cable Caused Arizona Fire Truck Ladder to Retract

August 21, 2012

Investigators say a snapped cable caused the extension boom of a southern Arizona fire department ladder truck to suddenly retract last week in an incident that hurt five people.

Four visitors and a fire captain were nearing the 100-foot maximum extension of the Green Valley Fire District ladder truck when the cable snapped Wednesday. The upper of three boom sections retracted, injuring all five and nearly throwing one man 40 feet to the ground.

He dangled from a safety harness until he could be pulled back into the boom bucket.

The truck was made by Sutphen Corporation and company official Ken Creese tells the Green Valley News that he’s never seen a similar failure. He says it’s clear the cable broke but figuring out why will involve an investigation.

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