N.S. declares localized state of emergency to ensure removal of downed crane  

Click to play video: 'Evacuees left in the dark after Halifax crane collapse'
Evacuees left in the dark after Halifax crane collapse
Officials are beginning the process of tearing the crane down, but evacuees feel like they’ve been left in the dark. Alicia Draus reports. – Sep 16, 2019

The Nova Scotia government has declared a localized state of emergency to ensure the safe removal of the crane that fell during hurricane Dorian.

The province’s Emergency Management Office made the announcement Wednesday afternoon, 11 days after the crane toppled to the ground.

READ MORE: ‘I just want to be in the loop’: Evacuees left in the dark over crane removal progress

The department says the state of emergency will allow the province to step in to oversee the crane’s safe and timely removal.

“The safety of Nova Scotians is our primary concern and any further delay is not acceptable,” said Chuck Porter, Minister responsible for Emergency Management, in a statement.

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WATCH: Work to remove Halifax crane toppled by Dorian begin this weekend

Click to play video: 'Work to remove Halifax crane toppled by Dorian begin this weekend'
Work to remove Halifax crane toppled by Dorian begin this weekend

Labi Kousoulis, the minister of Labour and Advanced Education, said at a media briefing Wednesday that additional evacuations will not be required as a result of the state of emergency.

“We needed to act to find a solution to get this work underway as soon as possible,” Kousoulis stated. “Our first priority is removing the crane safely and for people and businesses to get back to their lives.”

Kousoulis added declaring the state of emergency will move indemnity onto the province and away from the two other companies involved in the crane’s removal.

“The question of indemnity came up over the weekend and at that point all parties involved we’re working very quickly to put the proper insurance in place,” Kousoulis said. “The province was talking to its insurance consultant to also engage in the process.”

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“We felt the process wasn’t going to happen quick enough, so at that point we used this measure so that the indemnity would fall to the province and we could get the project moving forward.”

The localized emergency area is defined as the city block within the boundaries of Cathedral Lane, and bordered by Brenton Street, Brenton Place and Spring Garden Road.

An evacuation order was issued on Sept. 9 by Halifax Regional Municipality Fire and Emergency Services.

READ MORE: Engineers approve plan to begin removal of Halifax crane toppled by Dorian

The province is not taking on any cost in relation to actually bringing down the crane. Those costs still fall to the developer.

Engineers working on the project say the upper two roofs of the building are compromised but work was completed over the weekend to reinforce the building.

The next step is to secure the crane itself.

“We’re going to go in with wire ropes and cables to secure the parts of the crane that there’s a piece that’s suiting on the Olympus building but we also have to secure the mass which is the vertical part of the crane,” said structural engineer Mark Reynolds.

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The timeline for when the project will be completed remains unclear, but engineers said it will be a matter of weeks, not months.

With files from Alicia Draus. 

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