A tower crane came down onto an apartment building in Dallas, Texas during a severe thunderstorm yesterday, with winds exceeding 70mph. We understand that a woman in the building has died while at least two others are said to be in critical condition, with four others being treated for injuries sustained during the incident. One of which has now been released from hospital.
The crane a freestanding 20 tonne Terex/Peiner SK 415-20 hammer head crane from the Bigge tower crane fleet came down across the apartment block and the adjacent multi storey car park. It seems that the counterweight descended into the upper apartments, while the tower - which failed structurally at the top of the second section - struck the car park, destroying a number of floors, sending cars into the lower levels.
(The tower caused substantial damage to the multi storey car park
Dallas Fire and Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said: "We only hope that what we have found up to this point is where the damage and where the impact stops.” He also stated that the structure was unsafe which was limiting the search for any further injured people.
A further two injured people have been released from hospital, while two remain in a critical condition, and a third is said to be in serious condition, but likely to make a full recovery.
Around 500 residents of the apartment block have been evacuated now with a recommendation to find alternative accommodation. It looks now as though the woman who was declared dead on the night is the only fatality, she has been named as Kiersten Smith, 29, an employee of a healthcare company.
The investigation into what caused the collapse, is now focusing on whether the crane was properly 'weather-vaning' or not given that the winds, while high should not have been sufficiently so to bring down the crane.