One Dead and Six Injured in Dallas Crane Collapse That Crushed Apartment Building

By (Audrey McNamara)
Simon McGill

At least one person was killed and six people were injured in Dallas on Sunday after a storm that is battering the southeast caused a construction crane to collapse, crushing several floors of an apartment building and a parking garage.

The Elan City Lights apartment complex and its parking garbage were sliced through. The worst of the damage was on the eastern residential side, according to reports.

Jason Evans, a spokesman with Dallas Fire-Rescue Department, told reporters at a briefing on the accident that five of the wounded were in serious and critical condition, and a sixth person was hospitalized and later released. Names and conditions of victims have not been announced.

Authorities have only identified the person who died as a woman who was in the apartment building at the time of the collapse, according to Evans. She was killed when the crane cut into the structure, reportedly slicing through several apartments.

Images from the scene show cars teetering on the edge of collapsed floors in the parking garage.

The crane appears to have collapsed from high winds during a thunderstorm. Severe weather has ripped through parts of the southeast this month, and states of emergency were declared in affected areas on Sunday after more than a month of rain fell in a day.

Strong winds, heavy rain and hail battered parts of North Texas, including Dallas. The city was under a severe thunderstorm watch at the time of the collapse, with winds that could exceed 70 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

A severe thunderstorm watch was first issued in the Dallas-Fort Worth area at 11:25 a.m. The National Weather Service said the watch would remain in effect until 10 p.m. Central Time.

The same storm complex, which originated in Oklahoma, was set to make its way south and was expected to affect the cities of Austin, Waco, and San Antonio throughout the evening.

“There is a wall that has suffered significant damage, and at this point no one is confident that sending anyone inside of that structure is going to help it maintain it’s stability,” Evans told reporters. Most crane collapses involve the crane collapsing onto itself or onto a building that’s vacant or under construction, according to Evans.

“... This is a really challenging situation in the sense that I cannot personally recall that we’ve had a crane collapse that involved an already inhabited building,” Evans said.

“Our hearts go out to everyone who has been impacted by this incident,” Evans told reporters. “We only hope that the damage that's been inflicted thus far is where it stops.”

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