22 injured after cranes collide in Austin, officials say

AUSTIN, Texas — Twenty-two people were injured Wednesday morning when two cranes collided in East Austin, Texas, officials with Austin-Travis County EMS said.

Officials said the incident happened around 9:40 a.m. local time at 1600 Browning St., near the Mueller Development, according to KVUE. Authorities transported 16 people from the scene to hospitals following the incident. Their injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, officials said.

Authorities initially described the situation as a “structural collapse incident," however, Capt. Darren Noak, deputy public information officer for Austin-Travis County EMS, later said officials determined there was no structural collapse.

“It was basically a crane vs. crane incident that had occurred at a construction site,” he said, adding that those injured worked for the company constructing the site. The area is slated to become the Mueller Parking Garage and office project and is being developed by Catellus, KXAN reported.

Officials are investigating the cause of the collision.

Mark Bridges, of the Austin Fire Department, told reporters that wires between the cranes became entangled near the tops of the machines. An operator remained inside one of the cranes to act as a safety measure in case a mechanical lock on the crane failed, Bridges said.

“Since the crane is not going to collapse in his estimation, he is providing a secondary safety,” Bridges said. “If we thought he was in any kind of danger, we would attempt a rescue, but he’s not in any danger.”

Officials said they were awaiting representatives from the construction company working on the site to assess the situation.

“We are just kind of holding this scene, preventing anyone from going back in and creating a hazard,” Bridges said.

Officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating the incident, KEYE-TV reported.

Check back for updates to this developing story.

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