At least four dead, four injured after crane collapses in Seattle

Four people are dead and four are injured after a crane collapsed onto several cars in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood on Saturday afternoon, according to the Seattle Fire Department.

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Crews were taking apart the crane when it collapsed. Two of the people killed were ironworkers and two others were in vehicles struck by the crane. SFD spokesman Lance Garland said that six cars were crushed when the crane fell.


Seattle Pacific University released a statement Sunday morning stating that one of the victims was a freshman student at the school.

"We are deeply saddened to confirm that one of our students passed away in the crane accident in Seattle on April 27. Sarah Wong was in a car on Mercer Street when the crane fell. She was a freshman with an intended major in nursing and lived on campus. While we grieve the sudden and tragic loss of our precious student, we draw comfort from each other, our strong community of faith, and God's presence with us in times of sorrow. We ask that the community join us in praying for Sarah's family and friends during this difficult time."

GLY Construction, the contractor on the building where the crane fell, released a statement Sunday morning local time, KIRO reported.

“We are deeply saddened and heartbroken by what happened at our job site on the northwest corner of Mercer and Fairview in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood,” the company said in a statement. “Our sympathy and deepest condolences go out to the families, friends and colleagues of those who were killed in this tragic accident. We are hopeful for those who have been injured and wish that they return to full health as quickly as possible.

“GLY and its sub-contractors involved with this tower crane accident are doing everything we can to investigate the incident. We are cooperating fully with investigators and assisting the local authorities. At this early stage of the investigation, we have no further details. We will share additional information as it becomes available. All inquiries regarding the tower crane accident should be directed to the authorities at this time.”

A 28-year-old man, a 25-year-old woman and her 4-month-old female infant were taken to Harborview Medical Center with injuries. A fourth person was injured and treated at the scene.

KIRO reported Saturday evening that the mother and the 4-month-old infant would be discharged from Harborview. The 28-year-old is in satisfactory condition.

Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement about the accident Saturday:

Trudi and I join all Washingtonians in extending our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the four people who died in this afternoon's tragic accident in South Lake Union in Seattle. We are hoping for a full and speedy recovery for those who are injured. I thank the first responders on the scene. 

I urge everyone to stay clear of the accident scene and allow investigators and emergency personnel to do their work. Detours may be in place in the general area through tomorrow." 

The last fatal crane collapse in King County happened Nov. 16, 2006 in Bellevue, Washington, when a 210-foot crane hit three buildings and killed one man in an apartment.

The crane operator survived. An investigation revealed a flawed design was the cause in that case, and the following year then-Gov. Christine Gregoire signed a law for stricter regulations of cranes and crane operators.

Garland said the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries is conducting a full investigation into the cause of the crane failure.

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