One dead, five in­jured af­ter storm top­ples crane in Dal­las

Lodi News-Sentinel - - SPORTS - By Je­sus Jimenez, Dana Bran­ham, Sara Coello and Emma Ruby

DAL­LAS — One per­son was killed and at least five oth­ers were in­jured Sun­day af­ter­noon when a crane fell into an Old East Dal­las apart­ment build­ing as storms pum­meled parts of North Texas.

Crews search­ing Elan City Lights apart­ments found a woman in­side an apart­ment af­ter the crane crashed into the east side of the build­ing, Dal­las Fire-Res­cue spokesman Ja­son Evans said. She was later pro­nounced dead.

Five other peo­ple were hos­pi­tal­ized at Park­land Me­mo­rial Hospi­tal and Bay­lor Univer­sity Med­i­cal Cen­ter. Two were trans­ported in crit­i­cal con­di­tion, two were in se­ri­ous con­di­tion and one per­son who was treated for a mi­nor in­jury and re­leased, Evans said.

The crane, which was be­ing used at a con­struc­tion site next door, col­lapsed just be­fore 2 p.m. into the build­ing near U.S. High­way 75 and North Good-La­timer Ex­press­way, Evans said.

Mul­ti­ple emer­gency crews re­sponded to help dig through rub­ble, evac­u­ate res­i­dents and search for peo­ple and pets who may have been trapped in­side the apart­ments and col­lapsed park­ing garage.

“We are cur­rently work­ing to help de­ter­mine the scope of dam­age caused by the col­lapse, and con­sult with man­age­ment on what they’ll need to do go­ing for­ward,” Evans said in a writ­ten state­ment.

The cause of the col­lapse has not been con­firmed, he said.

Apart­ment man­age­ment con­tin­ued to work Sun­day evening to ac­count for all of the build­ing’s res­i­dents, but there were no re­ports of any miss­ing peo­ple, Evans said.

At­tempts to reach the com­pany that owns the apart­ment com­plex were un­suc­cess­ful.

Yesenia Bosquez’s fam­ily had moved into their top-floor apart­ment just two weeks be­fore the crane came crash­ing through Sun­day. She re­turned from a shop­ping trip to find her apart­ment, where she’d left her hus­band, Jay, to re­cover from a shoul­der in­jury, crushed by the twisted metal.

It took about 30 min­utes for au­thor­i­ties to tell her that her hus­band had been res­cued alive and had been hold­ing their dog while medics worked on his in­juries.

“It felt like a year,” Bosquez said. An hour later, she still didn’t know which hospi­tal he was taken to.

Abbey Kear­ney and her hus­band, Shawn, were in their third-floor apart­ment when the sky quickly went dark. She said they went out on their pa­tio, which over­looks the pool, and saw um­brel­las hurtling through the air.

The Kear­neys watched from their apart­ment as the crane fell, crush­ing units di­rectly across from their pa­tio.

“It was just like a knife through but­ter,” Kear­ney said. “I’m still just shak­ing.”

She said she was evac­u­ated from her apart­ment, which was un­scathed. Kear­ney and her hus­band aren’t sure when they’ll be able to get back in­side to re­trieve their two cats or get their cars out of the park­ing garage.

In a photo Kear­ney took from the third floor of the park­ing garage, cars are scat­tered among the rub­ble. Some were flipped up­side down, and oth­ers were nearly ver­ti­cal.

Steven Cooney said he had been stand­ing on his bal­cony watch­ing de­bris fly off a nearby build­ing that was un­der con­struc­tion when the crane fell right next to him.

Cooney went to the park­ing garage, but it had col­lapsed. As he was leav­ing the build­ing, he said he saw in­jured peo­ple who were trapped on the bal­conies.

Res­i­dents who were evac­u­ated from the build­ing gath­ered hold­ing their pets and noth­ing else. Oth­ers said their pets were still in­side.

Corey Lark and her hus­band weren’t home when the crane col­lapsed, but their two dogs, Ge­orge and Car­los, were.

“I wasn’t go­ing to be OK un­til I had my dogs,” she said.

At 5 p.m., po­lice went into her apart­ment to res­cue the dogs. Lark is wor­ried that be­tween her apart­ment and her stor­age unit on the build­ing’s fourth floor, she and her hus­band have lost all their be­long­ings.

“My hus­band says we’ll just re­build,” she said, wip­ing away tears.

SHA­BAN ATHU­MAN/DAL­LAS MORN­ING NEWS

Isa­iah Allen, a res­i­dent of the dam­aged Elan City Lights apart­ments, holds onto a dog, Princess, as he watches of­fi­cials re­spond to a scene af­ter a crane col­lapsed into the apart­ments in Dal­las on Sun­day. Allen was in his apart­ment when he said he heard what he thought was the loud­est thun­der­clap he had ever heard, but quickly re­al­ized the sound came from the col­lapsed crane.

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