A construction crane collapsed from the roof of a building on Saturday afternoon tragically killing four people and injuring four others. Two of the people killed were ironworkers and two others were bystanders. The crane was positioned on the new Google Seattle campus and was in the process of being dismantled when it fell.
The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries is investigating five companies involved in the accident: Seaburg Construction Corp., GLY Construction, Northwest Tower Crane Service Inc., Omega Rigging and Machinery Moving Inc., and Morrow Equipment Co. LLC. The Department of Labor and Industries spokesman said that it is too early to speculate on the cause of the accident and the investigation could take up to six months and would including interviewing workers and accessing company records among other investigation.
According to an article by CNN, after a construction company is finished using a crane, disassembly can take between two and three days. The disassembly process requires taking the crane apart piece by piece. The article suggested that construction workers could have prematurely removed or loosened the pins connecting the crane all at once instead of in sections. Workers sometimes do this in order to save time during dismantling. But if pins are removed prematurely, portions of the crane become unsecure and unstable. At the time of the accident, relatively minor wind gusts between 18 and 23 mph were reported in the area and could have contributed to the collapse.