Drilling rig topples onto students’ cars


    By Annie Grow

    An Earthcore drilling rig toppled over Thursday morning on Feb. 7 in the Smith Fieldhouse parking lot, crushing four BYU students” cars. No one was hurt in the accident, which will cost at least $60,000 in damage, not including damage to the cars.

    Drilling was taking place to retrieve a core sample in the parking lot to test the soil for the new practice field building that will be built here on the field house parking lot, said Robert Eyre, Sergeant of the University Police.

    “Earthcore owns this drilling rig and they had a problem with the rig”s hydraulics. The cable broke at 9:26 a.m., which caused the whole rig to tip over, smashing four cars in the process,” Eyre said.

    It took a special wrecker to get the big rig upright and off of the cars. The University police had to block the area off for over an hour, Eyre said.

    “I”m ticked. I find it hard to believe that this happened at all,” said Tyson Dunham, 21, a junior, from Worland, Wy., majoring in advertising. Dunham, owns a blue dodge 4×4, one of the vehicles smashed by the crane.

    “The front windshield is busted out and the whole frame is totaled,” said Tyson Scott, 21, a junior from Laguna Hills, Ca., majoring in exercise science.

    “Obviously it was an accident. I guess I shouldn”t have parked there. I don”t plan on paying for anything,” Scott said.

    PSI, a sister company to the company that hired Earthcore, said Earthcore is responsible for the accident and their insurance will pay for the damages, said Jason Crosby, a PSI engineer.

    “The drilling rig alone is worth $300,000,” Crosby said.

    “The hydraulics on the rig malfunctioned, which are used to stabilize the rig. When the rig malfunctioned, it tipped over and crushed the cars,” Crosby said.

    The cable on the rig would not release and so the operator wiggled the cable. As he did this the rig started to fall and the operator barely missed being crushed by the falling machinery,” Crosby said.

    “I don”t have time to worry about this, I hope that they take care of everything so I can have a car again soon and I can start studying again,” said Casey Robles, 24, a senior from Irvine, Calif., majoring in elementary education.

    “Five people from risk management were called out for the liquid spill from the rig. This was to contain the hazardous material, hydraulic fluid and diesel fuel. We built a sand hill around the spill to keep it from going into the sewer and water,” Eyre said

    The accident will cost a lot of money because of the added manpower, added work and the spill, Eyre said.

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