The Rio Rancho skyline has looked different lately. And it will continue to be without the giant crane at Intel that crashed down on March 23.
A broken wire caused the top half of the 450-foot- tall crane to collapse that afternoon. As of last week, the crane was completely gone from the Intel campus.
“Our contractors are moving the crane offsite for further investigation,” Communications and Media Manager for Intel New Mexico Public Affairs Katelynn Loughrin wrote in an email. “A smaller crane suited for our current and future construction needs will be brought onsite.”
Six cranes were brought in to the Intel plant as part of a $3.5 billion initiative by the company to expand its plant and produce new types of semiconductor technology. Construction began in 2021. Intel said the expansion is expected to add 1,000 construction jobs to the site. The giant crane could be seen throughout the metro area and even has its own Instagram profile.
Intel Corporation released a statement after the partial collapse of the crane.
“The safety and well-being of our employees and those who work on our campus is of the utmost importance to us,” the statement said. “On Thursday, March 23, 2023, a wire from the crane broke on site. There were no serious injuries as a result of the incident. We are currently investigating the incident and are committed to providing a safe and secure workplace for everyone on our campus.”
The Occupational Health and Safety Bureau, the state’s Regulation and Licensing Department and the New Mexico Environment Department are each working to figure out what caused the wire to break.
“The Environment Department’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau (OHSB) was notified around noon on Thursday, March 23, 2023 that an incident involving a crane occurred at the Intel site in Rio Rancho,” NMED Communications Director Matthew Maez wrote in an email. “OHSB inspectors conducted an onsite inspection that afternoon and continue to investigate the incident.”
The NMED is asking anyone about the incident to contact OSHB at 505-476-8700 or online.