A construction crane buffeted by high winds during a typhoon crashed on a Dallas apartment building on Sunday, killing one woman in the block and wounding at least six more individuals, two of whom were critical, a fire officer said.
Crews looking for the Elan City Lights building discovered a woman’s body inside after the crane stumbled and tore a big gash into the wall of the five-story house, Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said during a press briefing.
Evans said it is too early to say whether there may be more people hurt, killed or missing.
“The building itself has suffered multiple collapses in different areas of the building to include residential spaces and the parking garage,” Evans said.
Of those injured, two were listed in critical condition, three had suffered serious injuries and one suffered minor injuries and was later discharged from a hospital, Evans said.
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). Evans said the reason the crane fell is unknown but there is a “strong possibility” that the winds “played some role in the collapse.”
Isaiah Allen told the Dallas Morning News he was in his apartment when he heard what he thought was a deafening thunderclap. “I saw that the crane had actually fell 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.
Allen told the paper he saw a bloodied woman trapped in her apartment on the second floor.
Video shows that downed crane ripped a large hole in the building’s east side and landed on an adjacent parking garage. Evans said the east side of the building was the top priority for search and rescue staff when all five floors collapsed and the deceased woman was found there.
Evans said “every single level of the parking garage in part has collapsed” and that multiple vehicles were damaged. He said he was not sure if anybody was in the garage at the time of the collapse.
He said rescue personnel were using dogs to try to find people who might be trapped inside the rubble.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.