Woman killed in Dallas crane collapse during storm ID'd as Kiersten Symone Smith, 29
Fire officials say 5 injured, 2 of them critically
Authorities have identified Kiersten Symone Smith as the woman who was killed after a crane fell on a Dallas apartment building amid severe thunderstorms.
Smith, 29, was pronounced dead at a hospital Sunday after the crane smashed into a five-storey building near downtown, according to the Dallas County Medical Examiners office.
Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesperson Jason Evans said crews were still escorting residents of the Elan City Lights building in and out to retrieve their possessions. He could not provide an update on the condition of five people injured in the collapse — down from earlier reports that at least six were hurt.
Crews searching the Elan City Lights building found the body inside after the crane toppled and ripped a large gash into the side of the five-storey structure, Evans said during a media briefing.
Evans said it was too early to say whether there may be more people hurt, killed or missing.
"The building itself has suffered multiple collapses in different areas of the building to include residential spaces and the parking garage."
I got a video of the crane collapsing in Dallas. I hope everyone’s ok— it was terrifying to watch <a href="https://t.co/SrC9Kwy2ur">pic.twitter.com/SrC9Kwy2ur</a>—@soph_daigle
Of those injured, two were in critical condition and two had suffered serious injuries, Evans said.
Crews were called to the site of the collapse just before 2 p.m. local time after the U.S. National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the Dallas/Fort Worth area and warned of winds of up to 113 km/h. Evans said the reason the crane fell is unknown, but there is a "strong possibility" the winds "played some role in the collapse."
Isaiah Allen told the Dallas Morning News he was in his apartment when he heard what he thought was a deafening thunderclap.
"I saw that the crane had actually fell straight through the building and had destroyed a good eight to 10 apartments and so there's like floors and stuff falling through," he said.
Allen told the newspaper he saw a bloodied woman trapped in her apartment on the second floor.
Yesenia Bosquez's family had moved into their top-floor apartment just two weeks ago. She returned from a shopping trip to find her apartment, where she'd left her husband, Jay, to recover from a shoulder injury, crushed by the twisted metal.
It took about 30 minutes for authorities to tell her that her husband had been rescued alive and had been holding their dog while medics worked on his injuries.
"It felt like a year," Bosquez said.
Video shows that downed crane ripped a large hole in the east side of the building and landed on an adjacent parking garage.
Evans said "every single level of the parking garage in part has collapsed" and that multiple vehicles were damaged. He said he was not sure if anybody was in the garage at the time of the collapse.
He said rescue personnel were using dogs to try to find people who might be trapped inside the rubble.