One person died and at least 5 others were injured Sunday afternoon when a crane fell into a Dallas apartment building during a storm. The crane tore through multiple floors of the Elan City Lights apartment and parking garage at about 2 p.m. Although state officials have yet to identify the cause of this accident, heavy winds were a significant factor.
Research shows that wind causes 1 out of 4 crane accidents around the world. In most cases, cranes can withstand heavy winds up to 145 mph; some cranes are even able to withstand hurricane weather conditions. In most cases, the manufacturers provide construction companies with details on how much wind a crane can withstand. It still isn’t known what the manufacturer's recommendations were for this particular crane.
Dallas Crane Accident Investigations
Investigators will be looking at different factors to identify what caused this accident. For example, they will try to identify if the crane was lowered at any point before the storm or if it was in a parked position. In most cases, the brakes are removed before a major storm so that the crane to spin along with the wind. When the brakes remain on the crane, it makes it easier for the wind to knock it down. Investigators are determining if crane operators took the appropriate measures to secure the crane.
Are Crane Accidents Common?
Crane accidents occur more often than you think. On April 29, 2019, a crane collapsed onto a busy street in Seattle, WA. The crane crushed six vehicles along Mercer Street in South Lake Union. Four people were killed and three others were injured as a result of this accident. Victims of the crane collapse included a 19-year-old freshman from Seattle Pacific University and a marine who worked as an ironworker on the crane.
According to Federal Labor Statistics, Texas leads the nation in deadly crane accidents. In fact, Texas has four times as many deaths caused by crane-related accidents than any other state within the last four years. Since 2012, eight North Texas workers have lost their lives in crane accidents. In 2018, OSHA gave notice to the Texas construction industry to increase crane inspections. They have been under investigation months before this recent crane accident occurred.
Deadly Texas crane accidents in recent years include:
- 2012: 2 workers killed at the University of Texas Dallas
- 2013: 1 Alvarado worker killed when struck by a crane
- 2015: 1 Dallas worker crushed to death between the crane boom and truck
- 2017: 1 Commerce worker killed by granite that fell from a crane
- 2017: 1 Royse City worker struck by a crane beam and killed
- 2017: 1 Dallas worker killed by a crane that fell over
Our hearts go out to those who were affected by this tragedy. The Dallas crane accident attorneys at Arnold & Itkin will closely watch this story as authorities reveal more details about the cause of the accident.