Seattle crane collapse

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Seattle crane collapse
Google building complex on Mercer Street, Seattle - April 2019.jpg
Site of the collapse, seen two days later
DateApril 27, 2019 (2019-04-27)
Time3:28 p.m.
LocationMercer Street and Fairview Avenue, Seattle, Washington, United States
Coordinates47°37′29″N 122°20′06″W / 47.62472°N 122.33500°W / 47.62472; -122.33500Coordinates: 47°37′29″N 122°20′06″W / 47.62472°N 122.33500°W / 47.62472; -122.33500
TypeCrane collapse
Non-fatal injuries4
Damage to the building following the collapse

On April 27, 2019, at approximately 3:28 p.m. Pacific Time, a construction crane working on a Google office building in Seattle, Washington, United States, collapsed onto Mercer Street, killing four people and injuring four others.[1] The crane, which was being dismantled, fell across the street and its median, crushing six cars near the Fairview Avenue intersection. It also damaged the building's roof and eastern facade.[2] Two of the four victims were ironworkers, while two—a college student and a former city administrator—were in vehicles on the street.[3]

Several strong gusts of wind were reported in the area, including one recorded at a speed of 23 miles per hour (37 km/h) at the time of the collapse, and has been theorized as a factor in the collapse.[1][4] The collapse was captured in a dashcam video that was posted online the day after the accident, showing the perspective from westbound Mercer Street.[5]

Seattle has undergone a construction boom since the Great Recession, tallying 60 cranes in early 2019—the most in one city in the United States at the time.[6] The last local crane incident to include fatalities occurred in November 2006 during construction of the Expedia Building in Bellevue, which killed one person in a nearby building. As a result, Washington adopted laws to enforce stricter crane safety policies, including enhanced operator certification and training.[7]

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries began an investigation into the incident, with cooperation from developer Vulcan, Inc., the City of Seattle, and general contractor GLY Construction.[8][9] The collapse's cause remains unknown, but outside investigators speculated that the improper removal of pins and bolts during disassembly was a potential cause.[10][11] Mercer Street remained shut down for the weekend and re-opened on Monday morning, following removal of the crane and debris to a nearby lot.[4][12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bush, Evan; Shapiro, Nina (April 27, 2019). "Fallen crane kills four in South Lake Union: 'It was terrifying'". The Seattle Times. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  2. ^ Sailor, Craig (April 27, 2019). "Four dead after construction crane collapses onto busy Seattle street". The News Tribune. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  3. ^ Green, Sara Jean; Miletich, Steve; Kamb, Lewis (April 29, 2019). "Former Seattle employee, North Bend ironworker among victims of crane collapse". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Weise, Karen (April 28, 2019). "Seattle Eyes Its Crane-Filled Skyline After a Deadly Accident". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  5. ^ Guevara (April 29, 2019). "Dash cam video shows moment crane falls from building in Seattle's South Lake Union". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  6. ^ Baumann, Lisa (April 28, 2019). "'Terrifying': Crane falls on busy Seattle street, killing 4". The Washington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  7. ^ Rosenberg, Mike (April 27, 2019). "Seattle's cranes kept coming — and until now, operated safely". The Seattle Times. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  8. ^ Gutman, David; Groover, Heidi; Gilbert, Daniel (April 28, 2019). "Investigators open probe into four companies involved in dismantling Seattle crane before deadly collapse". The Seattle Times. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  9. ^ "Investigation into deadly Seattle crane collapse could take half a year". KING 5 News. April 27, 2019. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  10. ^ Lam, Kristin (April 29, 2019). "Deadly Seattle crane collapse was likely caused by human error, experts say". USA Today. Associated Press. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  11. ^ Gutman, David (May 13, 2019). "What caused Seattle crane to collapse? Experts say a common practice is likely cause". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  12. ^ Guevara, Natalie (April 29, 2019). "South Lake Union streets, including Mercer, reopened after crane fell Saturday in Seattle". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved May 1, 2019.