Early Saturday, a crane collapsed onto a busy street in Seattle, WA. The accident killed four people and injured three others. Pictures from the scene of the accident show large sections of the crane resting on top of smashed cars. Victims of the crane collapse include a 19-year-old freshman from Seattle Pacific University and a Marine who worked as an ironworker on the crane. Officials have not released the identities of the other victims or survivors.
What Happened During the Accident?
Construction crews were using the crane during the construction of a Google campus. When it toppled over, it crushed six vehicles along Mercer Street in the South Lake Union neighborhood. Footage captured from a dashboard camera shows the crane falling, tumbling over a building, and then falling to the street below. The fatally-injured victims died on the scene; three survivors were taken to Harborview Medical Center. Two of them were discharged Saturday evening, and one of them remains in stable condition.
More cranes are currently in use throughout Seattle than in any other American city. Seattle is the location of a construction boom fueled by the rise of residential buildings across the city. As of February, the city had 66 major construction projects in progress.
How Crane Accidents Happen
Crane accidents occur for numerous reasons. These large structures frequently fall because of weather conditions, poor maintenance, or operator error. Because cranes are generally safe if used correctly, a collapse is typically caused by user error or negligence. Investigators have not yet determined the cause of this accident but are working quickly to do so. Authorities will scrutinize everything from weather conditions to the crane's maintenance records.
"I think we've had a good track record here," said Seattle Mayor Jenny Dunkan. "But of course, we are going to pay extra attention to make sure that the cranes that are in Seattle today are safe."
The crane accident attorneys from Arnold & Itkin will closely watch this story as authorities reveal more details about the cause of the accident.