Tragedy struck at the University of Texas – Dallas' Richardson campus – on Saturday, July 8 when a crane literally collapsed on top of the university, killing two workers in the process. It was around 3 p.m. that emergency response crews were called to the 800 block of West Campbell Road in Richardson to attend to the catastrophe. The two workers that lost their lives on Saturday are the only to have suffered, as no other incidents of injury or death have been reported in conjunction with the accident.
For weeks now, construction crews have been working to complete the university's new Arts and Technology Building on campus, which is being erected only feet away from the school's library. At the time of the collapse, students and staff were inside the library and have since reported their accounts of the tragic events that followed the accident. In their descriptions, loud booms and echoing noises could be heard upon the crane's tumultuous collapse.
According to a local meteorologist from NBC 5, the crane collapsed at the same time that a strong gust of wind came through the area. The wind front was speculated to be traveling at approximately 50 miles per hour. However, it has yet to be determined whether or not the wind is to blame for the collapse that claimed two lives. The company contracted to work on the site, Hunt Construction, has declined to comment since Saturday. As of now, nothing further is known about the events of the collapse or the surrounding circumstances.
What we do know, however, is that OSHA (the Occupational Safety & Health Administration) is working closely with the construction company in its investigations of the incident. Together with local authorities, the federal agency is working to conduct ongoing investigations into the tragedy, looking to find any and all information that could be tied back to the collapse of the construction company's crane. While nothing conclusive has yet been made available, it is only a matter of time before the accident's cause is revealed and the lives of the two construction workers who were killed can be put to rest.
Accidents of this nature are most often caused by some act of negligence, whether on behalf of the crane designers or the construction company itself. Circumstances of every nature are meant to be thoroughly reviewed and tested before cranes and other construction pieces are okayed for operation. Something such as high winds should never be the cause of a collapse and subsequent death. Therefore, it is suggested that legal action be taken by the families of those who lost their lives on Saturday, as a wrongful death claim could be made on their behalf.