Four people have been killed and three injured after a construction crane on the new Google building collapsed in downtown Seattle, on the US’s west coast, pinning six cars underneath, the city’s fire chief says.
One woman and three men were dead by the time firefighters got to the scene, Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins said.
He said two of the dead were crane operators and the other two were people who had been in cars.
Three people – including a 25-year-old mother and her baby – were transported to hospital, Mr Scoggins said.
A fourth person was injured but treated at the scene.
The crane collapsed near the intersection of Mercer Street and Fairview Avenue near Interstate 5 shortly before 3.30pm (local time).
Mr Scoggins said officials do not yet know the cause of the collapse, which happened on a busy street.
Daren Konopaski, the business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 302, which represents heavy-equipment operators, told The Seattle Times he understood the crane was being dismantled when heavy winds moved through the area.
“We don’t know, but that’s what seems to have happened here,” he said.
“We are in the process of trying to get information.”
“My thoughts and prayers are with those killed and injured,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said on Twitter.
The crane was atop an office building under construction in a densely populated area.
“It was terrifying,” witness Esther Nelson, a biotech researcher who was working in a building nearby, told The Seattle Times.
“The wind was blowing really strong,” she said, and added that the crane appeared to break in half.
With Amazon and other tech companies increasing their hiring in Seattle, the city has dozens of construction cranes building office towers and apartment buildings.
As of January, there were about 60 construction cranes in Seattle, more than any other American city.