Update 4 (July 14):
The tragedy resulting from the collapse of a crane at construction site in Kelowna has deepened.
Four men had been previously announced to have died. But a fifth man, who was working in a neighbouring office building, remained missing and was presumed buried beneath the rubble.
Kelowna RCMP announced today (July 14) that crews have been working to stablize the site for search and rescue crews.
Shortly after midnight today, the Vancouver Fire Department’s Heavy Urban Search and Rescue Team entered the area and were able to recover the remains of the fifth man.
Kelowna RCMP stated that information about his identity won’t be released for privacy reasons.
“At this time, we do not believe there are any other persons who were injured or killed as a result of the collapse of this crane,” Kelowna RCMP Insp. Adam MacIntosh stated in a news release. “Our deepest condolences go to the family, friends, and coworkers of those who were lost here.”
WorkSafeBC, the BC Coroners Service, and Kelowna RCMP are conducting concurrent investigations into this incident today.
Efforts are continuing on to secure and dismantle the crane.
An evacuation order from the City of Kelowna remains in effect until a reassessment is conducted to determine if residents and businesses can safely return to the area.
Anyone who witnessed this incident, have not yet spoken to police, or have any information about this incident is asked to call the Kelowna RCMP Serious Crime Unit at 250-762-3300.
Update 3 (July 13):
CBC News reported that, at a news conference today, RCMP confirmed that four men, who were subcontractors working at the site (and one of them was the crane operator), have been killed and a fifth man, who is missing and buried in the rubble (and who was in a neighbouring office building and was not working at the construction site), is presumed dead.
The crane reportedly fell upon the office building and a seniors home.
The city's state of emergency is expected to last for six more days.
Kelowna RCMP stated in a news release that evacuated residents are being directed to an emergency reception centre established at the Salvation Army located at 1480 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna.
Aircraft, including drones, have been banned from the area.
Update 2 (July 12):
The City of Kelowna has declared a state of emergency in response to the crane collapse and the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre (COEOC) has been activated.
An evacuation order has been issued for these addresses:
- 547 to 612 Bernard Avenue;
- 1450 to 1488 Bertram Street;
- 1441 to1471 St. Paul Street.
No one will be permitted to return to these locations while the order remains in effect and the COEOC stated that "the incident site and its surrounding area remains unsafe and unstable". Road and sidewalk closures have been implemented.
CBC News reported that at least three people have been taken to hospital.
Kelowna Now reported that at least one person has died and one person is unaccounted for.
Update 1 (July 12):
The Mission Group building developer issued a statement explaining that the incident, which it described as a "catastrophic failure", occurred at 10:45 a.m. and that the crane fell during the dismantling process at the Brooklyn construction site.
The company stated that it is currently unable to confirm the number or extent of injuries but that it has set up support services.
Original article (July 12):
Police are asking the public to avoid a developing emergency situation taking place at a construction site in Downtown Kelowna.
At noon today (July 12), Kelowna RCMP sent out a notification to ask motorists and others to stay away from Kelowna’s downtown core, due to an industrial accident at a site near St. Paul Street and Bernard Avenue.
Kelowna RCMP stated that Downtown Kelowna is experiencing power disruptions due to the incident, and traffic is being rerouted out of the area.
In addition, police are evacuating all people who are in the impacted area.
Kelowna RCMP said they would issue a news release once more information became available.
According to several news reports, a crane collapsed into an adjacent building.
CBC News reported that up to 10 people may be injured, according to B.C. Emergency Health Services.