Snapped cable blamed for ladder accident that injured 5

An aerial ladder that suddenly retracted 40 feet is now under investigation

GREEN VALLEY, Ariz. — A snapped cable is being blamed for an accident that injured five people when it caused an aerial ladder to suddenly retract at a fundraiser last Wednesday.

Ken Creese, of Sutphen Corp., the company that manufactured the fire truck, says this was a rare incident. In his 35 years in the industry, he said that he has only heard of a handful of cases of aerial ladders unexpectedly retracting, according to Green Valley News.

"I've never seen anything like this," he said.

The 100-foot ladder was fully extended and carrying five people during a fundraising event when it suddenly retracted 40 feet. One man almost fell out of the ladder's bucket, being saved by a safety harness he was wearing.

The truck, built in 2009, has undergone routine maintenance and was not due for another preventative maintenance test until the last week of August.

A team from Sutphen Corp., including Creese, are investigating the cause of the cable snap. They took hundreds of pictures of the ladder truck after the incident and have given them to engineers to examine.

Two of the five injured people are still hospitalized.


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