For the past 3 years, Seattle, Washington has had the most construction cranes out of any United States city. But, as we know, from various videos and news stories, a crane collapse can have absolutely devastating consequences. On Saturday, a crane collapsed in downtown Seattle onto an open road below, killing two construction workers, 2 pedestrians, and injuring several others in the process.
Around 3:30pm on Saturday afternoon, the Seattle Police Department and Seattle Fire Department responded to emergency calls after the crane collapse. The Seattle Times reports that the crane, which was working on a new Google campus building, was being dismantled at the time of the collapse and that there were gusts of high winds. The National Weather Service tweeted that there were recorded wind gusts of 18-23 mph, but that they would not consider them to be strong gusts.
The two workers killed in the collapse were reportedly ironworkers. In total, 6 cars were crushed by the falling crane, which killed 2 civilians, and injured a 25-year old woman, her 4-month old daughter, and a 27-year-old man, who were all admitted to an area hospital.
Thankfully, the mother and daughter, who were trapped in their car, were released from the hospital several hours later. The man remains in the hospital, but his injuries are not considered to be life threatening. A 4th person was injured, but was treated by medics at the scene and not admitted to a hospital.
GLY, the general contractor on the jobsite, issued the following statement in a press release on Sunday:
“We are deeply saddened and heartbroken by what happened at our job site on the northwest corner of Mercer and Fairview in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. Our sympathy and deepest condolences go out to the families, friends and colleagues of those who were killed in this tragic accident. We are hopeful for those who have been injured and wish that they return to full health as quickly as possible.
GLY and its sub-contractors involved with this tower crane accident are doing everything we can to investigate the incident. We are cooperating fully with investigators and assisting the local authorities. At this early stage of the investigation, we have no further details. We will share additional information as it becomes available.”
The top corner of the building under construction was also badly damaged, both by pieces of the crane that fell to the ground below and sections that landed on the roof. Investigations will follow to determine the root cause of the accident.
Even though Seattle has had the largest amount of tower cranes of any US city for the past few years, there has not been a recorded accident involving one since 2006, according to the Times. In that incident, a 210-foot-tall tower crane crashed collapsed and damaged 3 neighboring buildings, killing a man that was sitting inside his living room.
I believe this is also the deadliest construction accident involving civilians since the devastating FIU bridge collapse in Miami that killed 6 and injured several others in March of 2018. Investigations of that bridge collapse are still ongoing, as are several civil lawsuits that have pushed the General Contractor to file for bankruptcy.
For more information about the Seattle crane collapse, you can watch the video below from NBC News, view KIRO7’s photo gallery by clicking here, or read the Seattle Times’ full article in the link below.
Full Story: ‘A tragic day in Seattle’: Fallen crane kills four in South Lake Union | The Seattle Times