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UPDATE: Construction crane collapses in downtown Kelowna

Russell Hixson
UPDATE: Construction crane collapses in downtown Kelowna
@JEN_ZEE Injuries have been reported after a crane collapse in Kelowna, B.C.

KELOWNA, B.C. – One person is in critical condition and an unknown number of people have been injured after a construction crane collapse in downtown Kelowna, B.C.

Mission Group confirmed that the incident occurred about 10:45 a.m. at their Brooklyn at Bernard Block tower project.

“There was a catastrophic failure where a crane fell during the dismantling process at our Brooklyn construction site,” said the developer in a statement. “Mission Group immediately evacuated the building and emergency crews were dispatched to the site.”

The company added that it will continue to work with emergency responders to assess the situation.

“We are unable to confirm the number and extent of injuries at this time,” the statement continued. “Mission Group expresses its deepest sympathy for the families of those affected by this tragedy. We have set up support services to help those in need. The health and safety of our employees, trades and the community at large remain our top priority.”

According to Shannon Miller, a communications officer with BC Emergency Health Services, emergency crews were dispatched shortly before 11 a.m. Monday morning for reports of a crane collapse in the 700-block of Bernard Avenue and St. Paul Street. Crews were told that a crane had collapsed onto an adjacent building.

“We have 12 ground ambulance at the scene, including two critical care teams,” said Miller, who added there are reports of several people with injuries, but the total number is not currently known.

According to Miller, two patients have been transported to hospital at this time. One patient is stable, with minor injuries and one patient in critical condition.

WorkSafeBC confirmed that it has been notified of the incident and investigation teams are responding.

“The purpose of our investigation is to identify the cause of the incident, including any contributing factors, so that similar incidents can be prevented from happening in the future,” read a statement from the organization.

The Central Okanagan Region’s Emergency Operations Centre has been activated to assist with crane collapse response efforts.

The centre has directed downtown evacuees to go to the Salvation Army at 1480 Sutherland Avenue for Emergency Support Services (ESS). Separately, it is advising families of those injured or missing to go to the Parkinson Recreation Centre (McIntosh Room) at 1700 Parkinson Way.

“We anxiously await updates on this heart-wrenching accident and we hope our incredible first responders are able to get help to the workers involved,” said B.C. Premier John Horgan in a tweet about the incident.

The Journal of Commerce will continue to follow this story as it develops.

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