UPDATE: 2 workers in critical condition after crane touches wires at West Seattle construction site; power outage nearby

(UPDATED 2:48 PM with victims’ condition)


10:38 AM: Big SFD medical response for an incident at the 42nd and Oregon construction site. 2 workers are reported injured, and an electrical problem was involved. Avoid the area.

10:51 AM: Road closure update – SW Oregon is closed east of California.


Police tell us the incident involved some part of a crane reportedly making contact with the power line that runs north-south along the alley.

11:04 AM: SFD’s Lt. Harold Webb tells us one worker was taken to the hospital in critical condition, one in serious. They were on the ground near the crane when it happened. The crane operator is being evaluated to see if medical treatment is needed. (The helicopter overhead is TV.)

11:31 AM: As noted in comments, this has affected power to some others in the area. The Senior Center, just west of the construction site, has lost part of its power, we’re told. Seattle City Light was dispatched to the scene early on.

The project that is under way at the site, just north of one of the West Seattle Junction Association parking lots, is 4505 42nd SW, a seven-story mixed-use building with apartments, “lodging” units, and retail. Work has been under way at the site since June.

SIDE NOTE: Just last year, a similar type of mobile crane caught fire after touching wires during a residential project near 47th and Andover; no one was hurt.

11:57 AM: Just went back to the scene. SW Oregon is still closed between California and 42nd. Work was halted at the construction site immediately after the incident.


The aforementioned parking lot south of the construction site is open. No further word about the workers or their conditions; we’ll be checking with Harborview a bit later.

12:23 PM: More power outages nearby, particularly south of Oregon – the City Light map now reflects them.

2:48 PM: Harborview Medical Center tells us both men are in critical condition.

3:48 PM: As noted in a separate update, the businesses/residences that lost power nearby have just gotten it back.

36 Replies to "UPDATE: 2 workers in critical condition after crane touches wires at West Seattle construction site; power outage nearby"

  • Rene September 26, 2016 (10:50 am)

    Please keep us posted as usual. I saw the accident before medics arrive. I pray both are ok. It looked quite serious. 

    • WSB September 26, 2016 (11:03 am)

      Comment flagged and deleted. We are still at the scene and continuing to update.

  • Chuck September 26, 2016 (10:57 am)

    Jeez, Anon. Just a tad past TMI. If I was a family member reading I would be not be pleased by the invasion into their private suffering. Prayers sent. 

  • Kate K September 26, 2016 (11:07 am)

    Hope those injured make a full and speedy recovery. I live nearby and there’s a helicopter flying over the area. Probably a news copter.

  • JAF September 26, 2016 (11:08 am)

    Is this why helicopters are overhead?

  • Kersti Muul September 26, 2016 (11:08 am)

    I was a utility forester and have seen a few things… Hope these two are not in pain. Good thoughts to you both :(

  • JB September 26, 2016 (11:08 am)

    Is that what the helicopters are about? Praying for these two people!

  • Lynn September 26, 2016 (11:14 am)

    Is this why I hear helicopters over the neighborhood?  I am sending good thoughts to the injured workers and their families.

    • WSB September 26, 2016 (11:16 am)

      Yes, I have mentioned that above, it’s TV.

  • Ashley September 26, 2016 (11:21 am)

    I live in Junction 47 apartments and my power is out. I assume this is why. Minor issue when you consider people were hurt. I just hope they’ll be ok.

  • WSJoe September 26, 2016 (11:22 am)

    With all this green speak in the city, you’d think these stations could share their film, and skip the “special” shot.  

    • WSB September 26, 2016 (11:31 am)

      There are “only” two left; two stations do share a helicopter now, and another one has never had one.

  • South Park Sassy September 26, 2016 (11:32 am)

    Does anyone know which construction site this is?  Horrible accident.


    • WSB September 26, 2016 (11:38 am)

      I actually just added that information. There is only one construction site at that intersection; it’s the mixed-use building at 4505 42nd SW.

  • ScubaFrog September 26, 2016 (11:45 am)

    Gosh I hope they’re both ok.  My thoughts and prayers are with them, their families and friends.

  • Click! Design That Fits September 26, 2016 (12:18 pm)

    Power out east side of California Ave 4500 block…

    • WSB September 26, 2016 (12:22 pm)

      Thanks. The City Light outage map has updated since I checked it about half an hour ago and now shows 254 customers (businesses, residences) without power there. http://www.seattle.gov/light/sysstat/

      • Click! Design That Fits September 26, 2016 (12:45 pm)

        We are still open though… natural light through the windows and computer on backup power! :)

  • Karen September 26, 2016 (3:48 pm)

    I feel so bad. I walk past that work site often and the workers were always very friendly and polite.

  • AMD September 26, 2016 (7:29 pm)

    Is this the same site as the gas line incident last month or just nearby?

    • WSB September 26, 2016 (7:39 pm)

      It’s not nearby at all. That was at 37th and Snoqualmie; this is 42nd and Oregon. About half a mile.

  • E September 26, 2016 (7:38 pm)

    Thoughts and prayers for the injured and their families. So sad. 

  • Sarah September 27, 2016 (8:01 am)

    I had a hard time falling asleep last night, as I couldn’t stop thinking about the two gentleman who were severely hurt in yesterday’s construction accident.

    I wondered if they had wife or children who had immediate needs. I don’t have lots to give, but would be more than happy to help. If anyone knows, please let me know. 
    • WSB September 27, 2016 (8:18 am)

      Hi, Sarah. Thank you. We haven’t heard from anyone so far, but would certainly publish that information in a followup if we get something. I am checking again with the hospital this morning to see how they are doing, and checking on some other aspects of the investigation too. – TR

  • kittyno September 27, 2016 (8:31 am)

    A close family member has worked commercial construction for many years.  He always says that the crane operators have some of the most dangerous jobs.  A lot can go wrong very quickly in very severe ways.  Hoping both pull through.  Sending thoughts to the families.

  • Catherine J. Sparks September 27, 2016 (8:42 am)

    I too, would like to help in any way possible.

    This unfortunate incident happened right across the street from our office. I was in a treatment room when it initially occurred, but my staff watched helpless as the entire thing unfolded. They were deeply affected by it,  and we are all terribly saddened. Please keep us all updated, and we will do what we can to help the men and their families.

    Dr. C. Sparks

    • WSB September 27, 2016 (9:40 am)

      I still have to collect information from various sources before publishing the separate followup but for those concerned, I did just hear back from Harborview. One patient remains in critical condition. One has been upgraded to serious. – TR

      • BJ September 27, 2016 (8:01 pm)

        Thank you so much for following up on the condition of these men.  This accident grieves many people who were nearby so your reports help.

        • WSB September 27, 2016 (8:03 pm)

          I apologize that we did not publish a separate followup today – I haven’t received information back from L&I, which I was awaiting, and we did not get to go back to the site, which we were about to do when this afternoon’s 3-alarm fire broke out, and that diverted us for the rest of the day. So I will be checking on them again tomorrow, and hopefully will have some additional information. Again, if anyone has information on whether there are funds for helping their families or anything else, but you don’t want to post here in comments, you can e-mail us at editor@westseattleblog.com … TR

  • Maggie September 27, 2016 (10:05 am)

    I imagine the two workers’ families, on top of worrying about their loved ones, also have to worry about the lost wages and medical expenses. We know in today’s America an accident can leave a family economically devastated, possibly totally bankrupt. Anything that can be done to coordinate support for these families would be greatly appreciated, WSB. I know many of us are willing to help in any way possible. And THANK YOU for your coverage. I live close by and you had the info posted so quickly that responders were still arriving. Not sure how you do it but appreciate the hard work and the way you bring our great community together. 

    • WSB September 27, 2016 (10:13 am)

      Thanks … someone called us (24-hour hotline, text or voice, 206-293-6302) and we happened to be out on an errand in the Luna Park area so we headed toward The Junction immediately. Community collaboration is vital … you let us know what you see/hear, we do our best to find out more. We have ears on the scanner much of the time but since we were away from HQ, we didn’t at that time, so if not for the caller, we might not have found out about this for a while. – TR

  • Christopher September 27, 2016 (7:18 pm)

    Our prayers go to the families of the hurt workers. Can we please get the cranes out of West Seattle! Enough damn construction!

  • Jim September 27, 2016 (10:50 pm)

    @ Christopher… Interesting that you mention that. This site does not have a crane. The crane that had the accident was a mobile crane parked in the street, not a construction crane in the footprint of the building. Furthermore, it was what we call a “neck breaker”.  Used several of these for 25 years in the shipyard. Note the driver/operator position. It is a fixed position and does not rotate with the boom. Hence the name. The accident happened 180 degrees from the direction the operator was pointed. I won’t speculate beyond that what happened, but you can plainly see the difficulties it presents.

  • Becky Peil September 28, 2016 (7:58 pm)

    Are there any updated on this story?

    • WSB September 28, 2016 (8:05 pm)

      We’ve heard from two sources that the victims are doing better. We’ve reiterated our interest in publishing information on any way of helping them and their families, nothing on that yet. L&I still hasn’t provided an update, so I have to nag them again tomorrow – their regular media liaison is out. It did not appear that work at the site has resumed. – TR

  • Becky Peil September 28, 2016 (7:59 pm)

    * Updates?  Also how can i edit a previous comment ?

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