Woman killed as collapsing crane “slices through” apartment building in Dallas

A 19-year-old woman died and five people were hospitalised with serious or critical injuries Sunday afternoon, 9 June when a large construction crane toppled amid high winds and crashed down onto a five-storey apartment building in Dallas, Texas, causing severe damage.

The woman, Kiersten Symone Smith, was inside an apartment at the Elan City Lights building in the Live Oak area when the crane toppled amid winds gusting at up to about 70mph, Dallas Morning News reports. 

Building resident Abbey Kearney told CNN how the sky darkened suddenly and the wind rose, adding it was "over in seconds".

"It just sliced through the building … like a hot knife through butter," Kearney said. "It went from the fifth floor to, from what I can tell, the third floor."

Briefing reporters on the day, Dallas police said the building suffered "multiple collapses in different areas", including the parking garage.

The 468-unit building is owned by global rental housing group, Greystar.

A former federal crane inspector and crane consultant, Thomas Barth, told CNN that cranes should be able to withstand 70mph winds, and questioned why the crane company did not prepare for the storm.

"Why didn’t anybody check the weather for the weekend, knowing that this storm was coming in? Why didn’t they prepare the crane?" he said.

Crane rental company, Bigge Crane and Rigging Co, said it is seeking answers and cooperating with investigators, CNN reported.

Image: Greystar’s Elan City Lights building in the Live Oak area of Dallas, Texas (Greystar)

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