Safety is priority following worker’s death in Vancouver crane incident: mayor

By The Canadian Press and News Staff

The mayor of Vancouver says he is “deeply saddened” by the death of a worker when the load from a crane fell on a building under construction in the city’s Oakridge neighbourhood, and worksite safety must remain a top priority.

A statement from Ken Sim says officials are committed to ensuring the safety of everyone working on construction projects in the city, and they will “continue to work diligently to prevent such tragedies in the future.”

Matthew Trudeau with Vancouver Fire Rescue Services confirmed the fatality hours after the load fell Wednesday afternoon, striking the building about 25 storeys up.

The identity of the person killed has not been publicly announced.

Dustin Luchka, a spokesman for the construction company EllisDon Corp., says operations at the site had been halted on Thursday.

The company would not release further details about the incident or the victim out of respect for the worker’s family and in light of the ongoing investigation.

“We genuinely wish to extend our heartfelt sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of the individual who was involved,” says the statement from Luchka.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic event and will do absolutely everything possible to understand why it happened.”

Sim’s statement says his “heartfelt condolences go out to the victim’s family, friends and colleagues who are undoubtedly experiencing immense grief.”

The mayor also thanked firefighters, police, the coroner’s service and WorkSafeBC for their “swift response” to the incident.

Firefighters were called to the city’s busy Cambie Street around 3 p.m., where they closed a four-block stretch of the route.

Speaking to CityNews Wednesday, Capt. Matt Trudeau with Vancouver Fire Rescue Services said he believed the person was killed when part of a crane’s load fell on them.

Fire crews explained multiple agencies attended the scene and a technical rescue team was also called in.

“A crane lost part of its load onto the structure. We are currently still working and in the progress right now of securing building material from falling off and injuring or causing any more damage,” said Trudeau.

WorkSafeBC confirms it was notified about a “serious incident involving a crane” in the area around 3 p.m. It says officers were sent to the site.

The work safety oversight body says it will be releasing more information Thursday.

Police issued a notice at 5 a.m. Thursday saying the street had reopened.


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