4 killed in a crane collapse in downtown Seattle

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Four people were killed and three injured when a construction crane collapsed in downtown Seattle, suspending six cars under it, the Seattle fire chief said.

Fire chief Harold Skogens said the four died when firefighters arrived on the scene. He said that two of the dead were crane workers and the other two were in cars.

Skogens said three people – including a mother and her child – were hospitalized. A fourth was wounded, but he received treatment at the scene.

Skogens said the crane collapsed near the intersection of Mercer Street and Fairview Street near Highway 5 shortly before 3:30 p.m.

Skogens said officials do not yet know what caused the crash, which occurred on a busy street.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the dead and injured,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said on Twitter.

The crane was over an office building under construction in a densely populated area.

“It was terrifying,” Esther Nelson, a biotech researcher who was working in a nearby building, told the Seattle Times.

“The wind was blowing strongly,” she said, adding that the crane was broken in two.

As Amazon and other tech companies increase their employment in Seattle, the city has dozens of construction hoists building office towers and apartment buildings. As of January, there were about 60 construction cranes in Seattle, more than any other American city.

Skogens said the wounded included a mother and child, and all of the injured had been taken to Harborview Medical Center.

Susan Gregg, a spokeswoman for Harborview, said a 28-year-old man, a 25-year-old mother and her child were being evaluated for their injuries. She said none of their injuries are life threatening.

Assistant Chief of Patrol Operations Eric Greening said all lanes could be closed until night.

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