Kristin Lam, USA TODAY Published 1: 05 am ET Oct. 18, 2019
A giant construction crane collapsed onto a busy downtown Seattle street, killing 4 people. Nathan Rousseau Smith has the latest. Buzz 60, Buzz 60
Workers disassembling theconstruction craneremoved pins holding together sections too quickly, officials said, and wind gust toppled the unsteady tower onto traffic below.
“The incident that occurred was totally avoidable,” said Department of Labor and Industries Director Joel Sacks at a news conference. “If the companies on site had followed the rules, the crane would not have fallen.”
The collapse on April 27 killed two people driving in cars as well as two ironworkers on the crane that was being used in constructing aGoogle office building. Four others were injured.
Authorities fined the supplier of the crane $ 70, 000, the general contractor $ 25, 000 and the construction crew $ 12, 000. Murrow Equipment Co., the supplier, should have ensured the instructions were followed as the expert on site, officials said. The other two companies, GLY and Northwest Tower Crane Service Inc., were fined for inadequate training and for not having a supervisor present.
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The daughters of Alan Justad, a 71 – year-old man who died when part of the crane crashed on his car, described the findings as devastating.
“There is no acceptable reason for why our beloved father is not with us today,” Jade, Marika and Miro Justad said in a statement toThe Seattle Times. “Corners were recklessly cut and as a result, four lives were lost. We will carry this tragedy with us forever. ”
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State officials acknowledged there is no law preventing workers from prematurely removing construction crane pins to speed up disassembly, the Times reported. The department said it is considering new regulations to prevent the practice.
The three companies have 15 days to appeal the fines.
Seattle Police on Thursday confirmed they opened a criminal investigation into the incident, but gave no further details. In 2008, New York prosecutors brought manslaughter charges in two crane collapse cases. Both ended in acquittals.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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