One woman was killed, while five others sustained serious injuries after a construction crane buffeted by high winds during a storm toppled on a Dallas apartment building Sunday.
The body of the deceased woman was found inside the collapsed crane, which ripped a large gash into the side of the five-story structure, a fire official said, adding the building has suffered multiple collapses in different areas, including residential spaces and the parking garage.
Of those injured, two were listed in critical condition, two suffered serious injuries and one suffered minor injuries and was later discharged from a hospital.
First responders searched every apartment they could reach and found no other victims. According to the fire official, every resident of an apartment damaged by the crane was either out at the time or was among those taken to hospitals.
Crews were called to the site of the collapse just before 2 p.m., after the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the Dallas/Fort Worth area and warned of winds up to 70 mph (113 kph).
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The reason the crane fell is unknown but there is a “strong possibility” that the winds “played some role in the collapse.”
Across Dallas the storm felled mature trees and knocked out power Sunday, leaving many areas without working traffic lights.
One of the eyewitnesses said he was in his apartment when he heard what he thought was a deafening thunderclap.
“I saw that the crane had actually fallen straight through the building and had destroyed a good eight to 10 apartments and so there’s like floors and stuff falling through,” he said.
He said he saw a bloodied woman trapped in her apartment on the second floor.
A video of the incident showed the crane ripped a large hole in the east side of the building and landed on an adjacent parking garage.
The company that owned the crane, Bigge Crane and Rigging Co., said in a statement it was mobilizing personnel to the site to find out more about the crane collapse and would cooperate with any investigation.
Rescue personnel used dogs to try to find people who might be trapped inside the rubble.