The collapsed crane at the PRO-TEC construction site as viewed from the street - Putnam Sentinel
The collapsed crane at the PRO-TEC construction site as viewed from the street. (Putnam Sentinel/Martin Verni)

LEIPSIC — Sometime during the evening of Tuesday, July 2, a sudden storm with strong winds moved through the northern Leipsic area. As a result, a crane at the expansion site of PRO-TEC Coating came crashing down.

“No one was hurt,” says Shannon Shartell of PRO-TEC. “Right now, they’re still investigating what all went on [that Tuesday] night.”

“The storm came-in very powerfully,” she continues. “It was sunny, and then all of a sudden I heard 60-70 mile per hour winds. I can’t confirm that, but that’s what I heard. [The storm] just came up very abruptly, and so the crane came down.”

In a statement to the Sentinel, Amanda Malkowski with U.S. Steel, which jointly operates the facility along with Japan’s Kobe Steel, said, “On July 2, an incident occurred at the site of our joint venture PRO-TEC Coating Company…A crane working on the construction of our new CGL line, collapsed during a severe storm, hitting the building. There were no injuries related to the incident. An investigation is ongoing, with safety as our top priority.”

In a response to a question from the Sentinel, Mrs. Malkowski added, “We do not expect any delay. The new coating line is expected to be operational later this year.”

PRO-TEC produces technologically advanced high strength steel, and primarily serves the auto industry. “The product helps to improve vehicle crash resistance as well as fuel economy through weight reduction,” according to the company.