A freshman at Seattle Pacific University and two experienced ironworkers were among the four people killed when a crane collapsed in Seattle on Saturday, officials said.
Campus leaders at SPU told students in an email Sunday that one of those killed was freshman student Sarah Wong. They said Wong, who had been looking to major in nursing, was in a car with another student when the crane collapsed onto Mercer Street.
The other student “was able to escape unharmed but is deeply shaken by the accident and loss of Sarah,” SPU leaders wrote.
The two workers who died in the crane collapse were ironworkers who were disassembling the crane — one from Ironworkers Local 86 in Seattle and the other from the Local 29 union out of Portland, said Chris McClain, the business manager of Local 86.
McClain said the member of the Seattle union was a journey-level ironworker. Joe Bowers, the business manager at Local 29, said the Portland member was recently married and had years of experience working tower cranes for most of his career.
Neither union was willing to discuss more about the victims, and they both said they had no insights into what might have caused the tragedy.
Officials have yet to disclose details about the fourth person who died in the collapse, other than to say the victim was in another vehicle traveling on Mercer Street.
The contractor on the South Lake Union construction project where the crane collapsed Saturday is investigating the collapse but sharing few other details, according to a statement Sunday morning.
“We are deeply saddened and heartbroken by what happened at our job site on the northwest corner of Mercer and Fairview in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood,” the company, GLY Construction, said in a statement. “Our sympathy and deepest condolences go out to the families, friends and colleagues of those who were killed in this tragic accident.”
“GLY and its sub-contractors involved with this tower crane accident are doing everything we can to investigate the incident,” the statement said. “We are cooperating fully with investigators and assisting the local authorities. At this early stage of the investigation, we have no further details.”
The Bellevue-based company is the general contractor on the four-building project where a tower crane fell around 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
Northwest Tower Crane Services, Inc., was a subcontractor on the project, according to Aaron Blank, an outside spokesman hired by GLY.
Northwest Tower Crane, based in Des Moines, also erected the crane that collapsed in Bellevue in 2006, the last fatal crane incident in the region, but after three years of litigation, the company was not found responsible for that incident.
The company did not immediately return telephone and email messages Sunday.
Four other people were injured in Saturday’s collapse. One was treated by medics at the scene, and the others, including a 25-year-old mother and her 4-month-old baby, were taken to Harborview Medical Center. The mother and child were discharged late Saturday.
Sunday morning, the fourth person, a 28-year-old man, was still at Harborview in satisfactory condition, said hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg.
The site is being developed by Vulcan Real Estate and is set to house a new Google Seattle campus and apartments.
The state Department of Labor and Industries will investigate the cause of the collapse, but a spokesman said Saturday it could take five to six months “before we have more answers.”