Deadly Dallas Crane Collapse Forces 500 to Evacuate, Investigation OngoingJune 12, 2019
Hundreds of Dallas residents had their lives turned upside down—and one woman lost her life—when a construction crane suddenly collapsed onto a downtown apartment building on Sunday, June 9th.
At about 2 p.m., just after a severe thunderstorm warning had been issued for Dallas, the crane came crashing down on Elan City Lights Apartments. As the crane ripped through five floors, a 26-year-old woman was installed killed, and a handful of others suffered serious to critical injuries.
In the immediate aftermath of the crane collapse, emergency responders used search dogs to look for residents in all areas that were considered unsafe for firefighters. While injured residents were immediately transported to a local hospital, at least 500 others were given just 5 minutes to gather what they could before being evacuated.
The day after this tragic accident, Elan City Lights Apartments issued the following statement:
Our deepest thoughts and sympathies are with you and your families during this difficult time. We wanted to update you with the latest information about the community. Unfortunately, the building has become totally unusable for residential purposes and you will not be able to reoccupy your apartment. With that being said, we are here to help each of you in finding a new home. All deposits and June rent will be refunded to you, without deduction. Refund checks will be available to leaseholders on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 after 3 p.m. at the Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak Street.
As the injured focus on healing and residents scramble to put their lives back together, the investigation into this crane accident continues. Consequently, authorities have not released any further details regarding the possible causes of this fatal crane collapse.
Could This Crane Accident Have Been Prevented?
This is the question many are now asking. As families and the community eagerly await answers, some are wondering whether preventable negligence may have been involved. While it may be some time before there are answers, here’s what we know so far:
- The crane should have been able to withstand the storm’s 80-mph winds: According to the National Weather Service, 80-mph winds were recorded in the area right before the crane collapsed. Critically, construction cranes like the one in this accident should be able to withstand winds up to at least 95 mph, with some designed to withstand 140-mph winds.
- The crane fell backward: Experts say this is highly unusual for properly installed cranes. Plus, some are now questioning why workers didn’t check the weekend weather and take some precautions ahead of time, knowing that severe storms were expected when the crane would not be in use.
- Elan City Lights Apartments have had many collapses in the past: A spokesperson for Dallas Fire-Rescue (DFR) reported that, in the past, different areas of this apartment building and its parking garage have “suffered multiple collapses.”
- The crane company has a history of safety violations: In fact, over the past 10 years, Bigge Crane and Rigging Co. has racked up 17 safety violations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Four of these violations were associated with a fatal crane collapse that happened in Arkansas in 2013.1
With all these elements in play, it’s possible that the investigation may find that the crane company and its workers and/or Elan City Lights Apartments may be at least partially liable for causing this tragic accident.
If the investigation does uncover any negligence that could—and should—have been avoided to prevent this crane collapse, the negligent parties will be liable for compensating the victims for their injuries, losses, and suffering.
The Amaro Law Firm Extends the Deepest Condolences to Everyone
Who Has Been Harmed by the Dallas Crane Collapse
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any information about this incident—or if you have been harmed in an accident and you need helpful advice regarding your legal options.