A specialized team of first responders recovered the body of a passer-by who was killed when a construction crane collapsed in his office building earlier this week in Kelowna, British Columbia.
Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services (VFRS) heavy urban search and rescue team safely removed the man’s body at around 12:30 a.m. PT, 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,” Deputy Chief David Boone said.
“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 regards 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,” said Boone.
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.
RCMP, BC Coroners Service and WorkSafeBC are investigating the collapse.