4 dead after construction crane crushes cars in Seattle

SEATTLE — Four people were killed and three injured when a construction crane collapsed Saturday in downtown Seattle, pinning six cars underneath, Seattle’s fire chief said.

The four were dead by the time firefighters got to the scene, Fire Chief Harold Scoggins said. He said two of the dead were crane operators and the other two were people who had been in cars.

Three people — including a mother and her baby — were transported to the hospital, Scoggins said. A fourth person was injured but treated at the scene.

The crane collapsed near the intersection of Mercer Street and Fairview Avenue near Interstate 5 shortly before 3:30 p.m., Scoggins said.

Scoggins said officials do not yet know the cause of the collapse, which happened on a busy street.

“My thoughts and prayers are with those killed and injured,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said on Twitter.

The crane was atop an office building under construction in a densely populated area.

“It was terrifying,” witness Esther Nelson, a biotech researcher who was working in a building nearby, told The Seattle Times .

“The wind was blowing really strong,” she said, and added that the crane appeared to break in half.

With Amazon and other tech companies increasing their hiring in Seattle, the city has dozens of construction cranes building office towers and apartment buildings. As of January, there were about 60 construction cranes in Seattle, more than any other American city.

Scoggins said the injured included a mother and child, and all the injured were taken to Harborview Medical Center.

A 28-year-old man, a 25-year-old mother and her baby were being evaluated for their injuries, said Susan Gregg, a spokeswoman for Harborview. None of their injuries are life threatening, she said.

Assistant Police Chief of Patrol Operations Eric Greening said all lanes may be closed until Sunday night.

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