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Crane tips over in north Austin with operator entrapped

A construction worker has been transported to a local hospital after a crane he was in tipped over Friday in Northeast Austin. (Photo courtesy: Austin Fire Department)

A construction worker has been transported to a local hospital after a crane he was in tipped over Friday in Northeast Austin.

The incident happened in the 1300 block of Rutherford Lane at around 11:30 a.m.

Austin-Travis County EMS said a man in his 40s was transported to Dell Seton Medical Center with non life-threatening injuries.

Austin Fire Department EMS first responders had to find a way to get 25 feet in the air to rescue the man.

"We had to innovate to find a good way to get him down," said AFD Division Chief Palmer Buck

Once they were able to get him, it was still a high danger area.

Fuel started leaking, and fire crews had to make sure it did not ignite.

"The truck's fuel tanks are right next to the operator area, and we were leaking a significant amount of fuel. While some firefighters were working on the patient, other firefighters were pulling hose lines and putting down absorbant," Buck said.

This is not the first time the crane's company has had an incident.

In 2016, they were cited by OSHA for failure to put up adequate warning barriers at a site, and ordered to pay a nearly $5,000 fine.

CBS Austin reached out to the company, Howell Crane and Rigging. They tell us they're still working to find out what happened Friday.

They also say the 2016 violation was only minor, similar to what a traffic ticket would be, and no worker has been killed in their 35 years of business.

As Austin continues to expand, Buck says incidents like this are becoming more common.

"With all of the construction as Austin continues to grow and grown, we've gotten very good at crane accidents."

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