Friday, November 17, 2006 at 12:23 am by Darryl
I stopped by the East side Drinking Liberally this evening in Kirkland, planning to hang for an hour. Pretty soon there were two of us left.
My friend, a union activist in the construction industry, got a phone call. A construction crane had just collapsed in nearby Bellevue, and he was asked to swing by the scene.
I happened to have my camera, so I tagged along to Northeast Fourth Street and 108th Avenue Northeast and snapped some photos.
Apparently, the crane came down as the operator was “putting it away.” The operator survived and was able to walk away…he was taken to a hospital. No other construction workers were injured. My friend found the crane operator from a nearby construction site who witnessed the crane coming down from his own crane cab.
For reference, here is an overhead view of the crane from Google Maps. The north-south street is 108th ave. and the cross street at the top is 4th street.
The crane sliced off a corner of the white building just below the tower, popped a hole in the side of the building below that, and the boom crashed through the white condo (Pinnacle BellCentre) shown in the lower right corner. (Click images for a larger version.)
Here is the scene looking down 108th Avenue. In photo 1, I am at the top, center of the photo by the cross walk facing toward the bottom of the photo. The crane was standing in the dark area on the right. The white building in the center of this photo (also in the lower right corner of photo 1) had a piece of crane smash through it. Unfortunately, one person in that building was killed.
Here is a close-up of the condo. (In photo 1, I am near the top slightly right of center where the black car by the red car is.) You can also see part of the crane laying across the street.
The Melting Pot restaurant is located in the lower portion of this building. I took Kathy there for her birthday last March.
Here is a view of the core (the rectangular structure to the left). The crane was footed at the base of this core. Apparently a structural failure occurred near the base, because I could see no crane structure standing. (In photo 1, I am standing on the minus sign of the google map scale control.)
A damaged commercial building can be seen on the upper right corner.
Here is a different view of the same structure as in the picture above, and the damage to the building. (In photo 1, I am near that top center cross walk…about where the white box slightly to the left is.)
This last photo shows the third building to be damaged on the right (there is a hole popped in the side). The operator cab can be seen right in the middle of that white building. The operator was very lucky that the cab came down between two buildings. A ladder was needed to rescue him from the cab. (In photo 1, I am standing along the left edge, looking across to the right though that lower alley.) You can read the words BellCentre on the condo in the background.
What a mess, and a tragedy for one person and his family. On the other hand, it is remarkable that there were no other injuries or deaths…it could have been much, much worse.