Crane Operator Seriously Injured During Demolition at University of Washington

SEATTLE – A heavy equipment operator suffered life-threatening injuries Saturday when a huge slab of concrete fell at a building demolition project on the University of Washington campus, crushing the cab of a crane and trapping the man inside for nearly two hours.

Emergency crews rushed to the scene, in the 1200 block of North Campus Parkway, at about 8:50 a.m. after receiving a report of a construction accident.

Arriving there, they learned that a 40,000-pound slab of concrete measuring about 15 feet by 30 feet fell six stories onto the crane as it was working inside an enclosed area at the construction site.

The crane’s cab was crushed by the impact and buried in rubble, leaving the operator trapped inside with serious injuries.

Rescue crews used every rescue tool in their inventory to dig through the rubble and extricate the 53-year-old man from the wreckage of the crane, including saws, spreaders, axes and ropes.

Under Washington law, a general contractor is responsible for enforcing job site safety regulations.  Following an injury, a lawyer investigating a potential claim will need to determine whether any safety regulations were violated and whether the general contractor failed to adequately enforce job safety regulations on the work site.