A fatal tower crane incident occurred last night in Kelowna, British Columbia - to the east of Vancouver - while it was being dismantled.
Initial reports confirmed that at least one person had died, while three have been taken to hospital, one with serious injuries. Meanwhile one tower crane erector was able to shimmy along one of the tower ties to safety. Update: We now know that four people on site have died - including the crane operator Patrick Stemmer and his brother Eric both from family owned Stemmer Construction, both of whom had young families A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the Stemmer family (To go to their page click here) Another man that died was crane rigger Jared Zook, 32.(To go to the family’s GoFundMe page click here)while the fourth was construction worker Cailen Vilness The fifth person - Brad Zawislak was working in a office building next door to the site and was buried in the rubble after the crane crashed into the building. His body has now been found.
The crane, a Liebherr flat top, owned and operated by Stemmer Construction /Cranes, had been working on the Block, a three tower residential and commercial project being built in the town by the Mission group. The company issued a statement describing the incident as a “catastrophic failure during the crane dismantling process". It added: “We continue to work closely with emergency responders to assess the situation. The Mission group immediately evacuated the building and emergency crews were dispatched to the site. We continue to work closely with emergency responders to assess the situation.”
"Mission group expresses its deepest sympathy for the families of those affected by this tragedy. We have set up support services to help those in need."
A large number of people living in the area have been evacuated from their homes. Further details are limited with some conflicting information coming in.
The following videos might shed more light I what has happened so far and we will update as and when we learn more.