More than 500 people have found themselves in limbo after a crane collapsed on their Old East Dallas apartment complex.
The crane came crashing down during Sunday afternoon’s severe storms. Kiersten Smith, 29, was killed and several others were injured.
Cell phone video captured the moment the crane came crashing down Sunday afternoon. SKY 4 video shows the gaping hole on the east end of the Elan City Lights apartments in Old East Dallas. More cell phone video shows how the crane tore through a parking garage and occupied units.
One person died, and Dallas Fire-Rescue says five more people were injured. Two remain critical, but they are all expected to recover.
One of the victims who is critical is finding comfort in his cat, Bing, being found safe in the apartments FOX 4 talked to the attorney for that man. He and his wife are still in intensive care and are both veterans. They do not want their names or picture to be shared but say, “God and his angels had their arms [wrapped tightly] around [them].”
534 residents are now displaced. The entire building is closed until further notice.
“We have a book of hotel rooms throughout the city, so we are providing people with hotels,” said Toni Reeves with Greystar Management Company. “We are also doing $100 per diem per leaseholder to help with food or any other incidentals they might need.”
Greystar, the property manager, is setting up tables to help residents navigate the uncertainty.
Dallas police and firefighters escorted residents to their units throughout the day on Monday so they could stuff empty suitcases and bags with whatever they might need for the foreseeable future.
“You have like 10 seconds to grab all your stuff, so that just kind of puts everything into perspective,” said resident Jamie Alexander.
Dallas Fire-Rescue will work with OSHA and Biggie Crane and Rigging Company, the crane operator, to determine how to remove the crane. It’s a process that could start over the next couple of days. Until then, hundreds are adjusting to an abrupt life change and the victim’s family is facing unbearable loss.
While requesting for privacy, Smith’s sister posted on Facebook about her death. "What gives me peace is that I know she was happy," she wrote. "She was in love with a great guy, soon to start a new job, and had so many other wonderful things to look forward to."
The accident remains under investigation.
Late Monday night, the apartment complex announced that the building has been permanently closed and residents will not be allowed to return to their apartments. They will offer help for residents to relocate.