SEATTLE — Four people were killed after a crane collapsed onto several cars on Mercer Street in South Lake Union on Saturday afternoon. The accident occurred at the corner of Mercer Street and Fairview Avenue North.
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.
Seattle Fire Department officials confirmed that three of the victims were men and one was a woman.
Seattle Pacific University released a statement Sunday identifying the woman as freshman student Sarah Wong.
Another person who died was identified as ironworker and marine veteran Travis Corbet. He was about to celebrate his first year of marriage with his wife, Samantha, in Oregon. Read more about Corbet at this link.
A 28-year-old man, a 25-year-old woman and a 4-month-old female infant were taken to Harborview Medical Center. A fourth person was injured and treated at the scene.
SFD reported that six cars were crushed when the crane fell. Dash camera video
Several witnesses reported experiencing high winds in the area at the time of the collapse. Observation sites near the incident also reported wind gusts of 18 to 23 mph.
Mercer Street was closed until Fairview Avenue N to 9th Avenue N but is back open for the Monday morning commute.
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries is conducting a full investigation into the cause of the crane failure.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan was at the scene late Saturday and gave the following briefing:
Update 4/28 at 10:58 a.m.: 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."
Update 4/28 at 10:27 a.m.: GLY Construction, the contractor on the building, released a statement.
"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. 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. "
Update 4/27 at 7:40 p.m.: Vulcan Inc., who is developing the property, released a statement. The property will soon house a Google campus in addition to apartments.
"We have received and confirmed reports of a tower crane accident at our site on the northwest corner of Mercer and Fairview in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood.
Our deepest sympathies go out to the families who have lost loved ones and our hope is that those who have been injured return to full health as soon as possible.
Our general contractor, GLY, and its sub-contractors are fully cooperating with the authorities investigating this incident."
Update 4/27 at 7:32 p.m.:
Timelapse video from camera on top of the Space Needle helps pinpoint the exact time the crane fell, sometime between 3:10 and 3:20 p.m.
Update 4/27 at 6:58 p.m.: The mother and the 4-month-old infant will be discharged from Harborview. The 28-year-old is in satisfactory condition.
Chopper 7 video of the crane crash site:
Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement about the accident:
"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 on Nov. 16, 2006 in Bellevue. In that case, one man was killed when the crane hit his apartment, one of three building it hit. That 210-foot crane collapsed because of design flaw, an investigation showed.
That crash led to a state law regarding improved crane safety and accountability.
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