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Friday night vigil organized for victims of Kelowna crane collapse

A vigil has been organized for the victims of the deadly crane collapse in downtown Kelowna. Global News

The five victims of the deadly crane collapse in downtown Kelowna on Monday morning will be remembered at a vigil on Friday.

The vigil is being organized by the North Okanagan Labour Council (NOLC), which represents about 40 public and private unions.

Read more: 5 dead in Kelowna, B.C., crane collapse, police say

NOLC president Ian Gordon called the accident devastating.

“Anytime somebody loses their life at work, it’s a shame and disaster for the families that are involved,” he said.

“No one should be trading their lives for a paycheque.”

It was just before 11 a.m., when the boom of the crane at the 25-storey, under-construction Brooklyn tower came crashing down at the corner of Bernard Avenue and St. Paul Street.

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Damage reported after part of crane falls on downtown Toronto building – Jul 10, 2021

The catastrophic crane collapse killed four construction workers along with a fifth man, who was working in an adjacent office.

“Hugely shocking,” Gordon told Global News. “You don’t see accidents like this every day, but when they do happen, it’s just devastating to the community as a whole.”

Friends and families have identified the men through GoFundMe fundraisers as brothers Patrick and Eric Stemmer of Salmon Arm, Jared Zook from Edmonton and Cailen Vilness, formerly of Kitimat.

Read more: Family of young man killed in Kelowna crane collapse says he had a bright future

The identity of the man working in the adjacent office has not been made public.

His body was buried in rubble and wasn’t recovered until late Tuesday night, as it required the help of a very specialized recovery team from the Lower Mainland.

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The RCMP and WorkSafeBC are investigating the accident to determine how it happened.

Kelowna-based Mission Group, the development company behind the project, said late Monday that the fatal failure happened during the crane’s dismantling process.

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Body of fifth victim recovered from Kelowna crane collapse site – Jul 14, 2021

The vigil will be held at 9 p.m., on Friday.

Although an exact location has not yet been chosen, it will be in the vicinity of the construction site near Bernard Avenue and St. Paul Street.

“We’re encouraging everyone to come,” said Gordon.

“It’s open to the general public and it’s just to remember those who lost their lives and prevent (accidents) in the future and give people a chance to express their feelings about the situation.”

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First hand accounts from the crane collapse in Kelowna, B.C – Jul 12, 2021

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