Five companies are being investigated for the deadly Seattle crane collapse which killed four people, it has emerged, and authorities may take up to six months to determine which of them is to blame.
GLY Construction, subcontractors Northwest Tower Crane and Omega Morgan, Morrow Equipment Company and Seaburg Construction Corporation are all under investigation for the collapse which claimed four lives.
It is unclear yet what role each company had in the crane’s construction. They were all named by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries on Tuesday.
The department also said the investigation could take up to six months to complete.
Experts who viewed video footage of the moment it collapsed say it appears as though human error is to blame.
They say workers had removed pins that were holding part of the structure together while disassembling it.
Horrifying dashcam video captured the moment the crane came crashing down as cars were driving directly below in Seattle on Saturday afternoon
‘The reason this tower fell over is ironworkers and the people working on it did not follow the manufacturer’s instructions for disassembling the crane.
‘If the pins had been in, that crane would not have fallen over,’ South Carolina crane accident investigator Tom Barth told USA Today.
Barth, who has been a crane operator and inspector for 38 years, said workers did not safely disassemble the tower crane by sections.
He said crews shouldn’t have taken out the bolts holding together two sections before ‘securing line from another crane to the top of the section getting removed’.
The crane, which was on top of an under-construction Google building, crashed onto a busy downtown street shortly before 3.30pm and crushed six cars below.
The accident killed two experienced ironworkers who were disassembling the crane, according to their unions.
They were revealed as young father Andrew Yoder, 31, and his colleague Travis Corbet, 33, from Portland who was recently married.
Retired city employee Alan Justad, 71, and Seattle Pacific University freshman Sarah Wong, 19, died when the crane crushed them in their cars.
Seattle Pacific University student Sarah Wong was one of four people who were tragically killed when a construction crane fell from a building and crashed onto the busy street
Two of victims killed in the accident were experienced ironworkers who were disassembling the crane. One of those men, Andrew Yoder, was a 31-year-old from Seattle who was described as a young father
Wong had been riding in a car with another student when the crane fell.
The other student was unharmed but is ‘deeply shaken by the accident and the loss of Sarah’, according to the school.
Wong, who was from South Pasadena, California, intended to major in nursing and had lived on campus.
Videos show sections of the crane separating cleanly, suggesting crews likely removed pins early, said Dave Kwass, a trial attorney who handles crane accident lawsuits.
The crane at the South Lake Union project collapsed on Mercer Street near Interstate 5 shortly before 3.30pm on Saturday