Authorities have identified a 29-year-old woman who was killed when a crane fell on a Dallas apartment building amid severe thunderstorms that also uprooted trees and left thousands without power across the city.
Kiersten Symone Smith was pronounced dead in hospital, according to the Dallas County Medical Examiners’ office, after the construction crane smashed into a five-storey building, destroying apartments and reducing parts of an adjacent parking garage to a pile of concrete and mangled cars.
The cause of Ms Smith’s death has not been determined. Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans could not provide an update on the condition of the five people injured in the collapse.
The crane fell as storms ripped across parts of Oklahoma and Texas, bringing high winds, heavy rain and hail that flooded streets and caused power outages.
Wind gusts up to 71mph were measured at Dallas Love Field airport, said National Weather Service meteorologist Patricia Sanchez.
Ms Sanchez said a crew was going out to determine the intensity of a reported tornado that damaged houses in Copperas Cove, about 75 miles north of Austin. A city fire official said about 200 homes were damaged and three were uninhabitable.
“The sun was out, and then all of a sudden a wind came in, it got dark, the lights went off, and once the lights got off then the wind started blowing,” Copperas Cove resident Erasmus Julien told the Killeen Daily Herald.
Crews were working around the clock to restore electricity in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The Oncor electric company said that at the peak more than 350,000 customers were without power.
Almost 500 traffic signals were inoperable across Dallas at one point, and about 170 were flashing red lights, according to the city.
At the Elan City Lights building damaged by the crane, fire crews were escorting evacuated residents back inside to retrieve their possessions, as city workers and Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials ponder how to remove the crane embedded in the structure’s east side.
A spokesman for the federal agency confirmed it is investigating the crane’s collapse but declined to provide further comment.