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Concerns about the stability of this contractor crane at teh Portsmouth Naval Shipyard forced the evacuation of several buildings Wednesday morning. (COURTESY)

Buildings evacuated at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

KITTERY, Maine – Concern about an unstable contractor crane led the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to evacuate some buildings early Wednesday morning.

Shipyard spokesman Gary Hildreth said workers were evacuated around 8:38 a.m. as a precaution after the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Fire Department responded to a report of an unstable contractor crane adjacent to Building 178, one of the most prominent shipyard buildings.

"The crane is secured in a safe position and everybody's back to work," Hildreth said around 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday.

Building 178 is the massive Submarine Building Ways building bearing the shipyard name on a dark blue background facing the Piscataqua River. The building is currently undergoing repairs. Workers from nearby buildings were also evacuated.

The crane did not collapse and there were no injuries to personnel or damage to any structures, Hildreth said.

According to information provided by the shipyard on Wednesday, Environmental Chemical Corp. of Marlborough, Mass. was awarded a $38 million firm-fixed price contract in March 2012 for energy and structural repairs to Building 178. The crane contractor is Rose Steel.


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