Investigations of large losses such as fires, explosions and building collapse can be incredibly complex, involving resources far beyond that of a normal forensic investigation. Crane Engineering has the resources and experience to provide extensive investigation of the cause or causes of complex incidents, including site management, investigation logistics, site documentation, artifact collection and storage, inspection protocols, joint inspection coordination, dissemination of information related to the investigation, in-house and outside laboratory testing and coordination. For some large losses, the logistics of the investigation are complex enough that the management of the site and the coordination of the investigation can be a task that requires independent management.

For example, during the investigation of a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in the City of West, Texas, Crane Engineering was engaged as an independent site management firm to manage the site and coordinate the investigation. The explosion that occurred in West, Texas in April 2013 caused complete devastation of the West Fertilizer Company, 15 deaths, over 160 injuries and damaged or destroyed over 150 buildings. The loss was investigated by several federal agencies for several weeks prior to the onset of the civil investigation. A loss of the magnitude of the West Fertilizer Company explosion required management and over-site beyond a typical explosion investigation. Crane’s management of the site involved on-site documentation, coordination with the various federal investigation teams, identification and mitigation of site safety hazards, management of evidence and the scheduling of inspections involving over a hundred individuals. For this investigation, Crane also developed a secure and sophisticated, but user-friendly, web-based investigation management portal to coordinate inspections, provide investigation schedules and circulate documents and photographs to the dozens of parties involved in the civil investigation.  Click here, for news coverage of our work in West, Texas.