Four dead as crane collapses onto cars in downtown Seattle

'The wind was blowing really strong,' says eyewitness Esther Nelson

Henry Austin
Sunday 28 April 2019 08:46
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Crushed car seen on Seattle road as crane collapses in downtown Seattle

Four people were killed when a construction crane collapsed Saturday in downtown Seattle, pinning cars underneath.

All of the victims were dead by the time firefighters got to the scene, the Seattle Fire Department said. Other people have been transported to the hospital, the department said.

"It was terrifying," Esther Nelson, a biotech researcher who was working in a building nearby, told The Seattle Times. "The wind was blowing really strong."

She added that the crane appeared to break in half. “Half of it was flying down sideways on the building,” she said. “The other half fell down on the street, crossing both lanes of traffic.”

Tweets from the scene showed the crane collapsed on the street, with vehicles stopped in the vicinity.

Corina Berriel told the newspaper that the crane hit the car behind her.

“The first thing I felt was a jolt from behind,” she said. “It almost felt like an earthquake.” She saw dust and debris falling from the sky. She thought she was about to die.

The crane was atop an office building under construction in a densely populated area, near the intersection of Mercer Street and Fairview Avenue when it collapsed.

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All lanes were closed, and motorists were told to avoid the area.

With Amazon and other tech companies increasing their hiring in Seattle, the city has dozens of construction cranes building office towers and apartment buildings. As of January, there were about 60 construction cranes in Seattle, more than any other American city.

Agencies contributed to this report

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