Construction Begins At Apartments Damaged in Crane Collapse

Photo taken by Elias Valverde II

Construction started at an Old East Dallas apartment complex that was destroyed when a construction crane collapsed into it in June of 2019. The owners say that they have begun rebuilding the property. 

Kiersten Smith, 29, died in the incident while five other people were injured. Residents of other apartments were displaced. Confusion and frustrations soon followed as residents tried to reclaim their property. 

Repairs to the building were put on hold while building owners decided how to move forward. However, crews could be seen this week working to clear debris from the building to restore the side of the apartment complex that the crane damaged. 

“We have spent the past two years thoughtfully assessing the best future use for this property,” Elan City Lights said in a written statement. “The apartment homes and common areas that were most damaged by the crane collapse will be completely reconstructed. All units will be fully renovated with new appliances, flooring, decorative finishes, and light fixtures.” 

Bigge Crane and Rigging, the company in charge of operating the crane, now faces a lawsuit demanding over $59 million in compensation. Crane operators have blamed high winds for the collapse, and the operators now have to respond to the lawsuit. 

According to the manufacturer’s specifications, the crane should have been able to withstand wind up to 95 mph. The National Weather Service recorded storm gusts of up to 71 mph on the day of the collapse. 

Injured and displaced residents of the apartment complex also filed a separate lawsuit against Bigge Crane and Rigging in the months following the collapse. 

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