Washington state

One dies in construction accident

BELLEVUE - One person was killed when a construction crane collapsed Thursday night in downtown Bellevue.

The dead person was in an apartment building struck by the crane as it fell, Bellevue Fire Department Lt. Bruce Kroon said.

The crane's operator was also hurt but reportedly was going to be OK, police spokesman Greg Grannis said.

It wasn't immediately known whether additional people were hurt. Officers were going door to door to check on people, but hadn't been able to get into one building because of damage, Kroon said.

Firefighters used a ladder to retrieve the operator from about 20 to 30 feet above the ground, but he was able to pull himself out of the cage, Kroon said. He was taken to nearby Overlake Hospital.

The accident occurred just before 8 p.m. on 108th Avenue Northeast near Northeast 4th Street, a bit north of the Seastar Restaurant, and the crane was blocking 108th Avenue Northeast.

The crane was working on 333 Bellevue Tower, which is an office building that has been vacant for a few years, Kroon said.

The crane operator told the fire department he was getting ready to shut down for the night, when he heard a crack and the crane went down, striking four buildings, Kroon said.