Barth Crane Inspections, LLC   |   Summerville, SC   |   (843) 871-8877

Stories? Videos? Photos?

Do you have an interesting crane story, photos or video that you would like to share? Please email us using our Contact Us form and we'll let you know how to contribute to

Crane Safety

Tom Barth has dedicated his life to crane safety. A crane operator, inspector, trainer and accident investigator with 38 years in the industry, Tom is committed to helping operators and companies make their workplace safer. With his background in tower cranes, crawlers, truck cranes, harbor cranes and more, and working in some of the harshest conditions on the planet, he brings a unique combination of knowledge, skills and dedication to the field of crane safety.


Accident Investigation
Accident Reconstruction
Expert Testimony
Crane Inspections
Tower Crane Inspections


Crane Operator Training
Safety Inspections
Load Testing

Tom Barth Was Crane Operator During 1971 Cannikan Nuclear Test In on Amchitka Island,Alaska

On November 6, 1971, the last U.S. underground nuclear test took place when the atomic missile Cannikan was detonated on Amchitka Island in Alaska. In preparation for the test, Tom Barth was the relief crane operator when a Manitowoc 4600, 250-ton crane with Vicon liftws the nuclear device out of a special container. A specially made drilling rig then lowered the device 5800 feet below the ground.

Cannikan was the thirteenth and final test of Operation Grommet, with an announced yield of 4.4 to 5.2 megatons - the largest underground test in U.S. history - and almost 400 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb. The detonation lifted the ground 20 feet and along with faulting created a new lake over a mile wide.

"Most of the island was evacuated of personnel," Barth said, "and I was on a plane with other workers when the bomb was detonated. We were in the air in case we were needed after the detonation. I remember seeing steam rising from the ground and it was said that the heat from the explosion melted rock for 24 hours after the test at Ground Zero."