The "crane versus crane" incident occurred around 9:38 a.m. in Austin, Texas, according officials

By Gabrielle Chung
September 16, 2020 06:11 PM
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Crane collision
Ricardo B. Brazziell/American-Statesman via USA TODAY NETWORK/Sipa

Twenty workers were injured in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday when two cranes at a construction site became entangled, causing one to partially collapse, according to authorities.

The "crane versus crane" incident occurred around 9:38 a.m. when emergency officials received a call of a structural collapse, Austin-Travis County EMS Captain Darren Noak said in a press conference.

Upon arrival, authorities determined that two cranes had collided and their wires were tangled.

Officials reported that 22 victims were involved in the incident, with 20 having suffered an injury of some sort and 16 of those transported to a local hospital.

The injuries, which were all deemed non-life-threatening injuries, were sustained as people scrambled away from the area following the crane collision, according to Noak.

Authorities are unsure how the cranes collided as the cause of the accident is still under investigation.

During the news briefing, Austin Fire Department Battalion Chief Mark Bridge described the two cranes as "stable at the bases" with "two wires connected."

Bridge said authorities cleared away the area in case of a collapse, though investigators did not believe at the time the cranes were in danger of falling over.

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“This just happened to be two cranes working, we’re not sure how or why, but they did get entangled,” he said. “Since they are attached at the top, we don’t want the wind to cause further problems.”

Bridge also confirmed that one of the crane operators had been inside the cabin for more than an hour following the incident, though he said that the worker was safe and was "providing a secondary safety."

"He's not in any danger," Bridge said.

The incident took place at a mixed-use development currently undergoing rapid expansion, KXAN reported. Several construction projects in the area include a new children's hospital and an eight-level garage for a nearby office building.