22 Injured After Cranes Collide in Austin: Operator Staying in Crane as Safety Measure

At least 22 people were injured after two cranes collided on Wednesday morning in Austin, Texas. The collision happened east of I-35 and one of the crane operators has stayed in the crane in order to serve as a secondary safety measure, officials said during a press conference.

Here’s what we know so far, including videos from the scene.


Two Cranes Collided Wednesday Morning, Leaving More than 20 Injured

The Austin-Travis County EMS reported that the collision happened around 9:30 a.m. and involved a structural collapse near 1600 Robert Browning Street. Eight ambulances and two ATCEMS units were assigned and 22 patients were involved. Sixteen were transported to hospitals, officials later said.

The two cranes collided while operating on site.

You can see a map of the collision’s approximate location below. This is just an approximate location according to local media reports and not necessarily the exact location of the accident.

The collision happened where a construction project is ongoing for the Mueller Parking Garage and offices, 10 WAVY reported.

By 11:10 a.m. Central, officials said there were no longer any rescue operations underway.

Officials said that the victims were all working on the site and most of the injuries happened when they were evacuating the area. KVUE reported that four were taken to Dell Seton Medical, three to St. David’s Medical Center, three to Seton Main Medical Center, three to South Austin Medical Center, and three to Seton Northwest.


A Crane Operator Has Stayed in the Crane as a Secondary Safety Measure

Earlier on Wednesday morning, Austin-Travis County EMS tweeted that they were trying to reach a crane operator, writing: “UPDATE 3: Structural Collapse incident at 1600 Robert Browning St; #ATCEMS Command advising of the 22 victims, 20 persons now considered patients with rescue assets attempting to make access to a crane operator. More to Follow….”

However, officials later confirmed in a press conference that the crane operator had stayed on site voluntarily and wasn’t in danger.

“Everyone involved in the incident, including the crane operators, has been contacted,” officials said during a press conference.

Mark Bridges of the Austin Fire Department confirmed that a crane operator is still in the crane and has been there since the beginning, but he’s not in any danger. Cranes have a mechanical lock and since they are not in danger of collapsing, the operator is providing a secondary safety measure by keeping his foot on the brake, Bridges confirmed during a press conference.

There was no structural collapse and the two cranes are stable at the bases, but two wires are still intertwined between the cranes, officials said. The area is cordoned off.

“Right now no one is trapped or injured and we are doing our best to monitor the scene and keep people away,” Bridges said. “Right now it’s kind of a stand by and wait until we can get some resources from the company.”

They’re sending a drone to get a view of the wire entanglement, he added. Bridges said they’re not sure how it happened, but two cranes were working and somehow got entangled.

“We’re monitoring the wind conditions,” he said, since the cranes are attached at the top. “It’s fortunate that we’re not having a lot of wind today.”

Emergency responders are currently in a “holding pattern” while waiting for officials from the company to come and make an assessment.


Live Videos of the Scene

A Facebook live video from Fox 7 is below.

Another live video from KXAN is below.

You can see another live video from KVUE below.

You can see a video on the scene provided by Citizen App here.

The cause of the collision isn’t yet known.

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