The crane on the left was not damaged when it was struck by lightning Thursday. It was back in operation Friday. (James P. McCoy/ Buffalo News file photo)

Lightning struck the south tower crane at the HarborCenter construction site Thursday night, forcing workers to shut it down temporarily, but no one was injured and there were no damages, a Buffalo Sabres official said Friday.

Sabres spokesman Michael Gilbert said the tower crane has “certain safety mechanisms in place” in case of such a situation, including being grounded. He said it’s the first time this happened on the HarborCenter project, but “it does happen on job sites because it’s the tallest thing in the area like that, [so] it’s not uncommon for this to happen.”

The tower operator was not hurt, and promptly shut down the machine closest to the First Niagara Center after the lightning bolt hit to protect the computers and other equipment on board. “The crane is up and running this morning,” Gilbert said. “It’s operational.”

Coincidentally, though, that crane will start coming down late next week because it is no longer needed now that the southern portion of the building is framed. The north crane near the hotel portion will remain for several months while that work is underway.


Click here to see the comments. Add yours now!