A specialized team of first responders recovered the body of a man who was killed when a construction crane collapsed in his office building earlier this week in Kelowna, British Columbia.
Vancouver’s heavy-duty urban search and rescue team safely removed the victim’s body around 12:30 a.m. Pacific time after more than six hours of work, according to the team leader.
“We were able to carry out the plan we had set out and we worked with the Kelowna Fire team all night long,” David Boone told CBC News Wednesday.
“The family may have a closure here and hopefully the community can return to some normalcy with the fact that this victim has now been recovered.”
The Vancouver-based rescue team, made up of firefighters, paramedics, police and an engineer, is one of six such teams in Canada.
Their work began around 5:30 p.m. PT Tuesday after a site assessment, where a crane collapsed above a 25-story residential tower under construction and crashed into a nearby office building at around 10:45 a.m. PT on Monday.
Crews worked to keep the debris stable
The man recovered by the search and rescue team was working in the nearby tower. He was buried under the rubble.
The twisted steel of the top half of the crane still rests on the partially collapsed office building.
“There was a lot of instability with respect to some of the debris that remained, so we had to make sure that anything we moved wouldn’t disrupt what was below and complicate recovery issues,” he said. said Boone, who is also an assistant chief of the Vancouver Fire Department.
A total of five men were killed when the crane collapsed. Four were contractors who worked on the construction of the Brooklyn building on Bernard Avenue.
WATCH | Brothers identified as 2 victims in the collapse of a crane:
Two of these workers have been identified as brothers, a third being a 32-year-old man from Edmonton.
The mayor of Kelowna said the city is still trying to deal with the loss.
“I think the hardest thing [we’re] trying to understand is that several people who went to work yesterday morningâ¦ their relatives expected them to come home and they are not, âsaid Mayor Colin Basran.
âIt’s hard to take and my heart breaks for families,â he said. “I hope those who know them will rally with them and support them through what will be a difficult time in the days, weeks. [and] months to come. “
State of emergency still in force
RCMP, BC Coroners Service and WorkSafeBC are investigating the collapse.
Constables said the cause was not immediately clear, but officials believe something “catastrophic” happened as workers at the site prepared to dismantle the crane.
The state of emergency remains in effect for the city of Kelowna.
Workers and residents around the area where the crane fell are placed on an evacuation order as crews work to stabilize and safely remove the steel.
“We ask people to be respectful and to stay away from the area to allow the completion of the work that needs to be done so that it can then be stabilized and we can bring people back to their homes and their homes. workplace – what we hope will be days, not weeks, âBasran said.
LISTEN | Sthe search and rescue chief explains the recovery operation:
South Dawn10:06Vancouver Urban Search and Rescue Team Provides Assistance Following Crane Collapse in Downtown Kelowna