Those impacted by Dallas crane collapse organizing meeting to get answers

People who used to live in the Elan City Lights Apartments are happy to see movement more than a month after a deadly crane collapse crushed part of the complex.

But many are concerned that the timelines provided by the complex are not specific.

The crane is still in the building, and there is no update as to when it will be removed.

Now, residents are joining up to start a more collective effort.

Apartment complex management has given a lot of information about how workers are working now to get residents' things out of the building, but residents complain there isn't a clear timeline.

It's been almost a month and a half since a crane fell on the Elan City Lights Apartments in Deep Ellum, killing 29-year-old Kiersten Smith.

The more than 500 people who lived there and survived still do not have their things.

"We see images of boxes coming out, and we see people working inside the building," former resident at Elan City Lights Apartments Jonathan Ross said.

But Ross added that it hasn't resulted in anything tangible or helpful for residents.

They're all keeping a close eye, taking pictures and videos of the workers who have been tasked to take inventory of their belongings, box them up, and then send them to a storage facility for pick up.

It's a meticulous process complex management has outlined in four phases, first involving the 184 apartments not in the impact zone, then attempting to preserve things from the 240 units that are "severely damaged."

It hardly feels like progress to former residents.

“They keep saying they're going to move our belongings to a secure storage facility, but I don't know where that is. I don't know how far along they are with phase one,” Ross added.

That's why he's now organizing a meeting of the former tenants the weekend of July 27-28 to try to get a clear timeline as to when they will have things, like their beds, couches, and cars back.

Many of the residents say they can't get help from insurance companies because they can't prove any of their things are a total loss.

“They're not willing to replace cars because they're not totaled, they're just sitting there,” Ross said.

In the meantime, lawsuits are stacking up, with several former residents filing together this month, claiming they've suffered both injuries and "invisible injuries," like PTSD and anxiety, asking for more than $1 million in relief.

Ross feels that same stress.

He thought he'd be done sleeping on an air mattress.

“[I thought] we'd have our stuff mid-July,” he said. “That hasn't occurred.”

Ross says he's working with the city of Dallas on an exact meeting location for the residents for this upcoming weekend.

Elan City Lights said in a statement last week that crews are working seven days a week for 12-hour days, and they wish they could provide a more definitive timeline.