Toronto police say a stationary crane fell into a downtown area intersection, narrowly missing two pedestrians, on Thursday morning.
Emergency crews were called to River Street and Dundas Street East in the city’s Regent Park neighbourhood shortly after 10:30 a.m.
Toronto Fire Platoon Chief Dan Sell said they found two people, a man and a woman, with minor injuries.
“One female narrowly missed being hit by the crane when it collapsed. It crushed her bike,” Sell told Global News. “It was very close.”
Sell said the woman was checked by paramedics and was released on scene.
A man was also walking in the area when the crane fell and was assessed by paramedics for shock.
No one else was injured.
“It’s a good day for us when we don’t have fatalities due to this and it could have been much worse,” Sell said.
Sell added that there’s an initial report construction crews were checking the maintenance on the crane and noticed a couple of shear bolts were missing or damaged. The crews evacuated the area inside the construction zone immediately but were not able to secure the outside area in time.
The exact timeline on events is still being investigated, Sell said.
“During the investigation we are going to be looking at how can this be avoided in the future,” he said.
The Daniels Corporation, a construction company, responded to the incident citing a “mechanical failure” and said that the crane was not in operation at the time and did not have an operator on board.
The construction company said work on the site has been temporarily suspended and an internal investigation of their own is underway.
“The ongoing health and safety of everyone on all of our construction sites and in the communities in which we build remains our highest priority,” Vice President of The Daniels Corporation Sam Tassone said in a statement.
There were several people in the area who witnessed the crane collapse, including one woman who was out for a jog.
“You kinda just heard noise and thought it was just general construction sound,” Ashley Docking said. “I looked back and the crane went slowly across the street.”
Another man who was in the area working with about a dozen other people said he heard the crane fall and came out to see what happened.
“The power went off, and it was just like a bomb went off, “Angelo Spanu said. “We came outside and noticed the crane was down.”
Police said road closures are in effect and drivers and pedestrians should avoid the area.
The Ministry of Labour has been notified.
Toronto Mayor John Tory issued a statement on the incident saying he was thankful no one was seriously injured.
“Thank you to all our first responders who responded to this incident and continue to be at the scene. This is the second crane collapse in our city in less than a month and so we will want to know what exactly happened in both cases and how it can be prevented,” he said.
“While this incident is still under investigation, I encourage the construction industry in our city to take all precautions possible to make sure their sites and cranes continue to be safe.