Features, Municipal Government, National

State Begins Probe of Seattle Crane-Collapse Contractors

April 30, 2019

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

SEATTLE, Wash.—The state of Washington has begun investigating the four contractors involved in dismantling the tower crane that killed four people when it collapsed Apr. 27. The Washington Department of Labor and Industries said it was probing GLY Construction, the general contractor, and the three subcontractors that owned the tower crane, that unbolted 20-foot sections of it, and removed those sections with a smaller crane. The crane’s horizontal arm has been removed when the vertical mast fell in 23-mph winds. Two of the dead were ironworkers on the job. “Our goal is to pick this apart and understand what happened,” Labor Department spokesman Tim Church told the Seattle Times. A similar fatal crane collapse in Dallas in 2012 was caused by bolts being removed or loosened prematurely. “The two workers who lost their lives were brothers from another craft,” International Union of Operating Engineers Local 302 business manager Daren Konopaski said in a statement. “We do not know the cause nor will we speculate on how or why this tragic accident occurred.  We offer our full support in the investigation to prevent any such future tragedies and to further improve construction safety.”

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April 30, 2019

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