Seattle Pacific U freshman killed in construction crane collapse

Seattle Pacific U freshman killed in construction crane collapse

April 28, 2019

Seattle Pacific University freshman identified as one of four people who were killed when a construction crane fell from Google campus building site

  • Sarah Wong had been riding in a car with another student when the crane fell from a building on Saturday 
  • The other student was unharmed but is ‘deeply shaken by the accident and loss of Sarah’, the school said 
  • Wong, who was from South Pasadena, California, intended to major in nursing and had lived on campus 
  • Two of the victims were experienced ironworkers. One was a young dad, the other had just gotten married
  • Crane at the South Lake Union project collapsed on Mercer Street shortly before 3.30pm and crushed six cars
  • Four others were injured in the accident, including a 25-year-old mother and her four-month-old daughter   

A Seattle Pacific University student was among the four people who were tragically killed when a construction crane fell from a building and crashed into a busy street in Seattle. 

Sarah Wong, a freshman at the school, had been riding in a car with another student when the crane fell from an under-construction Google building in the city’s downtown area. 

The other student was unharmed but is ‘deeply shaken by the accident and loss of Sarah’, according to the school. 

Wong, who was from South Pasadena, California, intended to major in nursing and had lived on campus. 

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 into a busy street in Seattle

Wong, a freshman at the school, had been riding in a car with another student when the crane fell from an under-construction Google building in the city’s downtown area

‘We are deeply saddened to confirm that one of our students passed away in the crane accident in Seattle on April 27,’ SPU said in a statement on Sunday. 

‘While we grieve the sudden and tragic loss of our precious student, we draw comfort from each other, our strong community of faith, and God’s presence with us in times of sorrow. We ask that the community join us in praying for Sarah’s family and friends during this difficult time.’ 

Two of victims killed in the accident were experienced ironworkers who were disassembling the crane, according to their unions – who declined to name the pair.  

One was from Seattle while another was from Portland. The Seattle worker was described as a young father with a family. The Portland ironworker had recently married, according to the Seattle Times. 

Seattle Pacific University confirmed Wong’s death with a statement and photo posted to its Facebook page on Sunday 


Wong, who was from South Pasadena, California, intended to major in nursing and had been living on campus  

The fourth person who died in the accident was, like Wong, traveling in a car at the time of the accident. The King County Medical Examiner’s Office will release the names of all four victims on Monday.  

The crane at the South Lake Union project collapsed on Mercer Street near Interstate 5 shortly before 3.30pm and crushed six cars below, according to the Seattle Fire Department. 

Three men and one woman were killed in the tragic accident. It’s unclear what caused the crane to collapse. 

Three people – including a mother and her baby – were also injured and taken to taken to Harborview Medical Center. Another person inside a damaged car was treated at the scene and not transported to hospital.

The 25-year-old mother and her four-month-old daughter suffered non-life threatening injuries, according to Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Gregg. A 27-year-old man was also being evaluated for non-life threatening injuries.  

The crane at the South Lake Union project collapsed on Mercer Street near Interstate 5 shortly before 3.30pm and crushed six cars below, according to the Seattle Fire Department

Emergency crews work the scene of a construction crane collapse near the intersection of Mercer Street and Fairview Avenue near Interstate 5 in Seattle

Emergency crews work at the scene of a construction crane collapse where four people were killed

Three people were also injured and taken to the hospital. Another person inside a damaged car was treated at the scene and not transported to hospital 

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    The Seattle Fire Department confirmed that four people were dead when firefighters reached the scene on Saturday 

    Emergency crews work at the scene of a construction crane collapse. Two of the vehicles crushed by the crane are seen

    Esther Nelson, a biotech research assistant who was working in a building nearby, saw the crane fall and said it was around eight or nine stories high and broke in half

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      Esther Nelson, a biotech research assistant who was working in a building nearby, saw the crane fall and told the Seattle Times it was around eight or nine stories high and broke in half.

      ‘I looked up. The wind was blowing really strong,’ she said. ‘Half of it was flying down sideways on the building. The other half fell down on the street, crossing both lanes of traffic.’

      Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted: ‘My thoughts and prayers are with those killed and injured’

      Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted late Saturday: ‘This is a tragic day in Seattle with this catastrophic incident in the heart of our city. My heart breaks for those who lost loved ones today.’ 

      ‘We also saw some miracles, including a mother and her young child whose car was struck by the crane but survived,’ Durkan said in a later statement. 

      ‘We are seeing our community come together in the face of tragedy and provide comfort to each other.’ 

      ‘Determining how and why this tragedy happened will take time. The City of Seattle, including the Seattle Police Department, will continue to work with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries so they can complete a thorough investigation into the causes of this incident. SDOT will also ensure any road repairs are complete.’ 

      Workers hug at the scene after a construction crane working on a Google building collapsed in downtown Seattle

      Firefighters arrive on the scene to assess the damage. It’s unclear what caused the crane at the under-construction Google building to collapse

      The crane at the South Lake Union project collapsed on Mercer Street near Interstate 5 shortly before 3.30pm on Saturday 

      The damage caused to the under-construction building is seen above. The campus, which stretches two blocks, has been under construction for nearly two years

      With Amazon and other tech companies increasing their hiring in Seattle, the city has dozens of construction cranes building office towers and apartment buildings 

      Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan talks to reporters near the accident site. She issued a statement which said: ‘We also saw some miracles, including a mother and her young child whose car was struck by the crane but survived. We are seeing our community come together in the face of tragedy and provide comfort to each other’

      The Washington Department of Labor & Industries has formally opened an investigation into general contractor GLY, Northwest Tower Crane Service Inc, Omega Rigging and Machinery Moving Inc, and Morrow Equipment Co LLC.  

      According to GeekWire, Google is due to start moving into the South Lake Union neighborhood this summer.

      The campus, which stretches two blocks, has been under construction for nearly two years and will be made up of 607,000 sq ft of office space and 149 apartments.

      Google first set up a base in Seattle 15 years ago and has roughly 3,400 employees in the region.

      With Amazon and other tech companies increasing their hiring in Seattle, the city has dozens of construction cranes building office towers and apartment buildings. 

      As of January there were about 60 construction cranes in Seattle, more than any other American city. 

      A Google Maps photo above from August 2018 shows the site under construction above. The campus, which stretches two blocks, has been under construction for nearly two years

      Google first set up a base in Seattle 15 years ago and has roughly 3,400 employees in the region. The new base will be made up of 607,000 sq ft of office space and 149 apartments. Pictured above a rendering of how the building is due to look

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