Sunday 15 September 2019

Four killed as crane falls off Google building

Fall: A policeman inspects one of the cars crushed by the crane.
Photo: Lindsey Wasson/Reuters
Fall: A policeman inspects one of the cars crushed by the crane. Photo: Lindsey Wasson/Reuters

Lisa Baumann

A construction crane fell on to a busy street from a building on Google's new Seattle campus, killing four people.

The three men and a woman were dead by the time firefighters arrived after the accident during stormy winds, fire chief Harold Scoggins said.

Two of the dead were ironworkers who had been inside the crane while the other two were people who were in cars.

A 25-year-old mother and her four-month-old daughter were in a car that was smashed by the crane on its passenger side, but both managed to escape with only minor injuries, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said, calling it a miracle. A fourth person was also injured and treated at the scene.

The crane collapsed near the often-congested intersection of Mercer and Fairview Avenue just north of downtown in the South Lake Union neighbourhood on Saturday afternoon.

The deadly collapse is sure to bring scrutiny about the safety of the dozens of cranes that dot the city's skyscape.

With Amazon, Google and other tech companies increasing their hiring in Seattle, the city has more cranes building office towers and apartment buildings than any other in the United States.

Ms Durkan said the city had a good track record with crane safety but that officials would conduct a review.

"It's a horrible day in Seattle when something like this happens.

"But it's a time when we come together because Seattle is a city that rallies around each other," she said.

Officials do not yet know the cause of the collapse but it is understood to have happened while the crane was being disassembled.

Irish Independent

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