Dallas, Texas – Sunday afternoon, a crane owned and/or operated by Bigge Crane and Rigging, collapsed and crashed into an Old East Dallas apartment building. Approximately three hours before the collapse, the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the Dallas area. At least one former federal crane accident investigator, Thomas Barth, has said the tragic accident should not have happened. CBS DFW reports that the Dallas crane collapse this weekend marked the ninth crane accident death in North Texas since 2012.
Following the collapse of a crane located at the 2600 block of Live Oak Street in Dallas, Texas, rescue crews searched the wreckage for people and pets. According to reports, one person died and at least five others were injured and transported to the Parkland Memorial Hospital and Baylor University Medical Center. Two of the crane collapse victims were in critical condition and two others were in serious condition.
Cause of the Crane Collapse
Although the cause of the crane collapse has not yet been determined, gusts of approximately 70 miles per hour caused significant damage throughout the Dallas and surrounding areas. About 280,000 Dallas residents without power (approximately 46,000 residents in Denton, Collin, and Tarrant counties lost power also).
Gusts of wind were also a factor in a deadly April crane collapse at a Google construction site in Seattle, Washington. The Seattle crane collapse accident resulted in the deaths of four people, but the winds were at a much lower speed than they were in Dallas this past weekend.
Experts have surmised that a likely factor in the Seattle crane collapse was that crews dismantling the tower crane had removed bolts up and down the mast prematurely.
Statements Following the Crane Collapse
“We are currently working to help determine the scope of damage caused by the collapse, and consult with management on what they’ll need to do going forward.”
— Dallas Fire-Rescue Spokesman, Jason Evans
“Our deepest thoughts and sympathies are with those impacted by this terrible tragedy…We will continue to work with local authorities to address the needs of our residents during this difficult time.”
— Greystar Worldwide
“We are mobilizing personnel to the site to find out more and, of course, to fully cooperate with investigating authorities…Our thoughts and prayers are with those directly impacted by this incident, their families and loved ones, and with those who suffered property damage.”
— Bigge Crane and Rigging Company
According to reports, Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax told The Morning News that the city does not currently require crane inspections but that it would work with OSHA, which has already started an investigation of the collapse, to determine if there are any procedures it should implement going forward.
Morrow and Sheppard LLP’s expert crane accident attorneys are closely monitoring the situation and will provide updates as information becomes available.