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Old April 28th, 2019, 04:25 AM   #301
geoffloftus
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Yes, they are indeed dismantling that last crane. That was why the sidewalks weren't entirely open.

EDIT: I hadn't seen the previous page when I posted the above. I see now that the dismantling did not go well.

Last edited by geoffloftus; April 28th, 2019 at 04:39 AM.
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Old April 28th, 2019, 10:46 AM   #302
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnie Seahawk View Post
I was there maybe 90 minutes before. At the time, no wind. There were a number of flatbed trucks idling near the scene. I canít imagine they were dismantling the crane, though.
I went to take the dog for a walk this afternoon about the time this happened. I had gone out in shorts and a tshirt because I thought the weather would be nice, but it started raining and got worse and worse as we walked. Wind was blowing pretty about the time the sirens started.
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Old April 28th, 2019, 07:00 PM   #303
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I suppose I should resign myself to the helicopter flying overhead all day. There is now a large crane on Mercer.
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Old April 28th, 2019, 07:56 PM   #304
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Google campus 4/28/19

I debated whether to even take these pictures, much less post them, as it seemed kind of ghoulish.

However I decided that we've been chronicling this project since its inception and, awful though it is, this is part of the chronicle. So here is what the scene looked like around 7:30 this morning (the last picture is a yesterday-today comparison).

Although it seems unnecessary to say so, I'd like to explicitly request that there be no "likes" for this post. It's not a "likable" post; it's a very sad one.























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Old April 28th, 2019, 10:06 PM   #305
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The smaller section of crane on the roof has been removed. Although this is an accident, it’s my understanding it also being treated as a crime scene.
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Old April 28th, 2019, 10:13 PM   #306
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capitol Hill View Post
The smaller section of crane on the roof has been removed. Although this is an accident, it’s my understanding it also being treated as a crime scene.
Considering four people sadly died as a result of the accident, someone is going to be in the cross-hairs for criminal charges. It's likely being considered a negligent homicide case.
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Old April 28th, 2019, 10:14 PM   #307
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It is just so so sad.
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Old April 28th, 2019, 10:36 PM   #308
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Dept. of Labor & Industries has said that the investigation will take months, if not a full year. The last major crane accident here (Expedia Tower, Dec. 2006) prompted the state legislature to pass stricter crane inspection guidelines which seem to have been pretty successful until this week.
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Old April 28th, 2019, 11:14 PM   #309
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I wonder if Google will ask for their logo to be covered up.
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Old April 29th, 2019, 12:21 AM   #310
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Terrible event.

I found this quote on another site interesting, hopefully posting here is okay:

Quote:
Thatís a Liebherr, best and safest cranes in the world. This is a hammerhead tower crane.

Itís really hard to see with the limited photos available and the fact the tower seems to have fallen entirely across the building. A couple of things strike me from the photos.

Firstly I canít see the a-frame, jib or counterweights anywhere. So I suspect the crane was being assembled or disassembled. Given that it is a weekend, this also makes sense as tower cranes (at least in my country, Australia - granted this is Seattle) get pulled down during the weekend so that traffic closures can be gained to allow the mobile crane to setup and the disassembled tower crane to be laid down on the road. The fact that there is a photo of a rescue worker on the roof working on the tower suggests to me that somebody is in the tower section or on the roof when it fell.

Secondly, the towers appear to cross from one side of the building to the other which means the towers must have been much higher than this building was.

The sections lying on top of the cars are the tower sections (ie the mast), you can tell as they are square and you can see the climbing ladders inside them.

Wind is a driving factor in design loads for tower cranes. While the lattice work looks very open, it all adds up to large areas that act as a sail. Someone in this thread mentioned that the winds where unexpectedly high.

I canít see any bolts in the tower leg spigots over the black Audi. The other end of the group of towers also seems to be missing bolts. Also the towers still up on the roof have no sign of bolts where they have separated. Edit:pins not bolts

The things that would cause a crane to fall over during disassembly are;- overturning of mobile crane due to geotechnical failure (not in this instance otherwise it would be in the article); failure of rigging equipment while lifting; removal of ties or bolts out of sequence; failure of temporary works (ties, base, needles) due to engineering error.

From half-a-world away it looks like a disassembly sequence or temp works engineering error, perhaps contributed by unexpected winds. Temp engineering should/would have huge factors of safety on wind loads.

Right now, without knowing anything other than what is in the photos, my suspicion would be that this tower crane was being dissembled and to speed up removal in advance of lifting out the towers the crew has removed bolts further down the tower than they should have. Wind may have then pivoted the towers over

Terrible incident and the loss of both worker and public life is aweful.

Edit: Pins not bolts
https://old.reddit.com/r/news/commen...ntown/elyeq5l/
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Old April 29th, 2019, 12:36 AM   #311
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I just saw the smaller section on the roof removed, the larger section which seems enmeshed with the HVAC is still there. There are a lot of construction works AND police officers on the roof right now.
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Old April 29th, 2019, 02:12 AM   #312
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Fatalities on construction sites are investigated as homicides until explicitly proven otherwise. With civilian fatalities involved, it's 100% going to be investigated as a multiple homicide and will continue that way for some time. I would be somewhat surprised if there ended up being criminal charges in this case - criminal charges for construction accidents have an extremely high threshold to hit. Civil penalties for everyone involved and lawsuits that will drag on for years are what will come of this.

My immediate guess here is that there were some unexpectedly high winds associated with that front that came through at what is a very critical time during the dismantle process. Just terrible, terrible timing. 30 minutes one way or the other and this doesn't happen.

It's a horrific accident and further proof that Mother Nature is cruel and cold-hearted.
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Old April 29th, 2019, 04:54 AM   #313
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King 5 had a video of the crane collapsing.
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Old April 29th, 2019, 05:31 AM   #314
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capitol Hill View Post
King 5 had a video of the crane collapsing.
That is crazy. Truly awful this happened, very scary and sad
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Old April 29th, 2019, 05:56 AM   #315
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capitol Hill View Post
King 5 had a video of the crane collapsing.
OxBlue has disabled their cameras, but I saw them yesterday showing before, after, and the malay.
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Old April 29th, 2019, 07:19 AM   #316
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So incredibly sad. Interesting Reddit thread above. I appreciated the comment about "sending doubles down" since it was clear in photos yesterday that a pair of roughly 20' tower sections looked fully pinned/attached after they landed on the ground. It does seem that a lot of pins were removed in preparation of sending connected pairs of tower sections down to the street. I didn't see any metal tearing where the pins would've been connecting separated tower sections so made me wonder if they were so violently jolted that they flew out of the connections but sounds like they were just routinely removed and that with a bit of extra wind might've been enough. I haven't looked up the San Diego and Texas incidents mentioned in the thread.
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Old April 29th, 2019, 07:57 AM   #317
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Yep, I work in the (dis)assembly of tower cranes and can vouch in the most likely cause is the workers removed all the pins along the masts too far in advance (typical method used to save time in Hong Kong and China too). A strong gust of wind then topples the entire mast tower without the pins to secure them in place.
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Old April 29th, 2019, 08:11 AM   #318
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Old April 29th, 2019, 08:14 AM   #319
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Please let me first say my post is speculation based on viewing some pictures and videos.

The pins at every other tower section were pretty clearly removed based on how the tower sections broke apart in advance of removing the tower sections in doubles. The pins were also removed between the cab/turntable and the top tower section as the cab removal was imminent/in process.

This video appears to show an aborted pick of the cab - it looks like it had been rigged up and ready to fly: https://www.seattletimes.com/video/6...th-lake-union/ Not entirely sure why they aborted but I assume it's because the wind had picked up and the mobile needed to adjust to withstand the wind. The cab is the last solid/heavy piece on top then the tower sections are pretty basic and straightforward.

The people who took the video said they saw the tower leaning thus they took the video. I think the location of this tower crane - in the middle of a building at the south end of the lake - played a big role here. Unobstructed gust of wind off the lake, hits the building, goes up, rattles the cab and causes some overturning force on the cab. This transfers down through the unpinned sections and loosens everything up. Some more sustained wind and the tower goes over.

I don't know what the manufacturer's instructions are for dismantling these but I do know that getting a few tower sections ahead of loosening/removing the pins in pretty much standard operating procedures these days.

I'm guessing that a very unique confluence of location, wind, and timing led to this. Any of a location more protected from the wind, pull the pins 10 minutes later, don't abort the cab pick due to the high winds, and I doubt this happens. The guys taking this apart were doing what they've done during the dismantling of every tower crane they've done prior to this one.
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Old April 29th, 2019, 08:29 AM   #320
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Seriously grim but I've been wondering what are the worst construction accidents in Seattle or nearby by fatalities? I recall the Kingdome ceiling demolition killed (I believe) 2 men and there are certainly single fatalities all too often but anything near 4 in recent decades? Obviously the 2 non-worker deaths of this tragedy are extraordinary as well.
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