Multiple people were killed when a crane attached to a high-rise under construction in Kelowna, British Columbia, collapsed on Monday.
Several workers were near the crane when it collapsed, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Inspector Adam MacIntosh said at a news conference following the collapse.
He gave no further details about the victims, saying that ‘not all persons have been properly identified.’ One person was unaccounted for, MacIntosh said.
It remains unclear how many people were killed and injured in the collapse.
But in a later news conference, Jon Friesen, the CEO of Mission Group, the construction company building the tower, said all of the deceased victims were employees of a subcontractor his company had hired to work at the site.
He said he was in a ‘state of shock’ by the accident, saying it ‘is the most serious catastrophe’ his company has had, as at least 100 men were on the site.
‘We want them to go home at the end of the day, and that did not happen,’ Friesen said, noting: ‘It doesn’t matter whose employees they were. They were on our site and as a result of their work they did lose their lives.’
A crane attached to a 25-story residential building under construction collapsed in Kelowna, British Columbia on Monday, resulting in multiple fatalities and injuries
As the crane fell, it hit an adjacent building and the roof of an ‘old-age home’
MacIntosh said 911 calls about the collapse came in at around 11 a.m. on Monday, when the crane, which was attached to the 25-story Brooklyn at Bernard Block residential tower, fell and hit an adjacent professional building and the roof of an ‘old-age home.’
It was being dismantled at the time, Friesen said.
Police and fire officials immediately responded to the scene, he said.
The extent of the damage to the buildings is unknown, according to MacIntosh, and ‘the area remains unstable and unsafe.’
It has been evacuated as local officials declared a state of emergency, and a structural engineer has been brought in to secure the area.
Video from the collapse shows part of the crane broken off from the rest of its body, as the videographer says: ‘The top of that crane is missing. Look at it.’
The video also shows a car with its hood smashed in from the attack, as the man says, ‘It’s like, dangerous to be where I am right now.’
Video taken by a bystander at the scene shows that a car’s hood was damaged in the collapse
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Inspector Adam MacIntosh said the area remains unsafe
Harry Bains, the minister of labor in British Columbia, said he was ‘deeply saddened’ by the collapse.
‘My thoughts are with the workers affected, and I send my sincere condolences to the families, friends and co-workers of the victims,’ he said in a statement.
‘All workers have the right to a safe and healthy workplace – even one injury or death is too many,’ he continued. ‘This is a heartbreaking reminder that we must strive to ensure the safety of all workers to prevent incidents like this from happening.’
The incident is now being investigated by WorkSafeBC, the British Columbia Coroners Service and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Royal Mounted Police, WorkSafe BC and the British Columbia Coroners Service is now investigating the incident
People were evacuated from the scene, as local officials declared a state of emergency
The latest tragedy comes just two days after a part of another crane collapsed on top of a building in Toronto.
A counterweight meant to prevent the crane from tipping was located on top of the 8 The Esplanade residential building after it fell approximately 20 feet, Toronto Fire District Chief Stephan Powell told CNN.
The crane was carrying about 20,000 pounds of counterweight, which shifted, resulting in the crane tipping over, Toronto Fire Platoon Chief told CTV News.
Fortunately, he said, the top six floors of the building were used for maintenance, so no residential units were damaged.
Multiple people are dead and more are injured after crane collapses in British Columbia