Désiré - Pierre-Bénite english summary

On 4 April 2007 the top of a crane situated on the quarterdeck of the self-propelled barge Le Désiré travelling on the Rhône hit an overhead power cable crossing the river near Édouard Herriot port, immediately upstream of the Rhône/Saône confluence, which it had just left. The cable was cut and fell on to both banks.
The consequences of the accident were very great, firstly in terms of traffic, due to the cable falling onto the A7 motorway, and secondly in terms of the power supply to part of the Lyon urban area. BEA-TT decided on a technical investigation, with the agreement of the Minister of Transport, under law no. 2002-3 of 3 January 2002 on the safety of transport infrastructure and systems.

This report, after giving an account of the investigations carried out and establishing the accident scenario, analyses the causes of the accident and sets out preventive guidelines to prevent the occurrence of a similar accident.

The main cause of the accident is the unusually low level of the overhead power cable hanging over the public waterway, which did not conform to the requirements of the General Regulations of the Inland Waterway Policy (RGPNI).

The behaviour of the bargeman also contributed to the accident by not taking the precaution of folding the crane before leaving the quay and leaving it half-folded at the clearance limit of 15 m above the plane of draught laid down by the RGPNI.

The report made seven recommendations to the Rhône-Saône Waterways Authority, the Rhône National Company and the General Directorate for Infrastructure, Transport and the Sea, which concern :
- Preserving and inspecting waterway clearances ;
- Adjusting the piloting rules ;
- Clarifying the division of responsibilities between the Rhône-Saône Waterways Authority and the Rhône National Company for the management of temporary occupancy permits in relation to the national waterways ;
- Drawing up a risk map for the Rhône as a navigable waterway.

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