A construction crane that collapsed in Seattle and killed four people was caused when connecting pins were removed prematurely from the structure, it was revealed.
The 300-foot tower was then ‘left weak and vulnerable’ when a gust of wind of more than 45 mph hit it, The Seattle Times reported.
Crew-members had been working to disassemble the crane, which was being used to build Google’s campus in South Lake Union on Mercer Street near Interstate 5 , when it collapsed.
A construction crane that collapsed in Seattle and killed four people was caused when connecting pins were removed prematurely from the tower, it was revealed
Crews had removed more than 50 pins from ‘the entire length of the structure,’ said Brian Haight, (pictured), L&I’s crane-certification supervisor, leaving only one pin in place
Two iron workers who were taking the crane down and two passersby, including a freshman and a former City of Seattle employee, were killed in the April incident.
The Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I), had formally opened an investigation in the incident in April.
Crews had removed more than 50 pins from ‘the entire length of the structure,’ said Brian Haight, L&I’s crane-certification supervisor. He said only one pin was left in place.
He was reported by The Seattle Times as saying: ‘Per the manufacturer’s procedures, it wasn’t acceptable to remove any pins for any component other than the one that was attached to the mobile crane, ready to be removed.
‘The likely supposition is that it helps them to get the work done faster.’
Brian Haight uses a model of a crane to explain how a crane can become unstable after pins are removed
A 26-pound pin and sleeve of the type used in the collapse of a crane earlier in the year in Seattle that killed four people is shown at a press conference
‘The incident that occurred was totally avoidable,’ L&I director Joel Sacks said. ‘If the companies on site had followed the rules that were in place, the crane would not have fallen and four people would not have lost their lives.’
Authorities have fined three companies involved in the crane collapse by more than $100,000 combined.
L&I officials fined the supplier of the crane, Morrow Equipment $70,000 for a ‘willful serious violation’, for what they claimed was the most serious safety breach in the incident.
Washington state’s Department of Labor and Industries released the results of its investigation Thursday.
It found, as experts have suspected, that the crane toppled because workers who were disassembling it prematurely removed pins securing the sections of the crane’s mast.
Authorities fined three companies involved in the crane collapse by more than $100,000 combined
Sections of the crane landed on the new Google building where it had been used and on traffic below, striking six vehicles.
Two ironworkers on the crane were killed as were two people in cars.
Officials said the biggest fine, $70,000, was going to Morrow Equipment Co., which supplied the crane to general contractor GLY. GLY was fined $25,000, and Northwest Tower Crane Service Inc. was fined $12,000.
Horrifying video of the collapse emerged on Sunday, capturing the moment in toppled from the Google building and into Mercer Street.
Ted Herb, the president of GLY Construction, claimed the company is use the findings of the report to ‘do everything possible to protect our workers and the community.’
Sarah Wong, a freshman at Seattle Pacific University, was one of four people killed in the horrific crane collapse in downtown Seattle in April
Travis Corbet, 33, died in the Seattle crane collapse and was an experienced iron-worker
Andrew Yoder, (left), a 31-year-old from Seattle, and Alan Justad, (right), died in the Seattle crane collapse
He was reported by The Seattle Times as saying: ‘We have already made changes to our systems and implemented protections based on immediate key learnings from the event, and we remain committed to upholding strict industry safety protocols at all of our jobsites.
‘The impact of this event will be felt for some time and we will use it to strengthen and safeguard our employees and the communities in which they work.’
Sarah Wong, a 19-year-old freshman at Seattle Pacific University, was one of four people killed in the tragic accident. The crane had crashed on to her car.
Two victims killed in the accident were experienced ironworkers who were disassembling the crane, according to their unions.
Andrew Yoder, a 31-year-old from Seattle, was described as a young father.
His colleague Travis Corbet, 33, was a fellow Marine from Portland who was recently married.Alan Justad, 71, who died in the accident was, like Wong, traveling in a car at the time of the accident.