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New cranes being erected at site of fatal crane collapse in Kelowna

Click to play video: 'New cranes being erected at site of fatal crane collapse in Kelowna'
New cranes being erected at site of fatal crane collapse in Kelowna
New cranes being erected at site of fatal crane collapse in Kelowna – Oct 26, 2021

A new crane has been erected at the site of a fatal crane collapse earlier this year in downtown Kelowna, and a second crane will soon be added.

For one Shuswap resident, though, seeing the new crane is too much, too soon.

Jason Wickner said his best friend was one of the five people killed when the crane collapsed on Monday, July 12.

Read more: 2 new cranes to be erected at site of deadly Kelowna crane collapse

“I’m just shocked and confused that after such a big tragedy, which affected the whole nation, that the investigation report wouldn’t be waited for,” Wicker told Global News.

“As well as thinking about the mental health of everyone involved, the downtown community, family and friends (of the victims); it’s something that hit a lot of people.”

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The collapse happened along the 1400 block of St. Paul Street, at a tower called the Brooklyn.

Two brothers, Eric and Patrick Stemmer, were among the victims, which also included Jared Zook, Cailen Vilness and Brad Zawislak.

Wickner said he grew up next door to Eric and Patrick Stemmer, with Eric being his best friend and that they were in each other’s wedding parties.

“It was very hard-hitting and very sad for all the families involved of the other victims,” said Wickner.

Click to play video: 'Crane Collapse Vigil'
Crane Collapse Vigil

Asked if the new cranes are being built too soon, Wickner said yes.

“I think it’s too soon with the safety concerns,” said Wickner. “We’re also looking at some sort of memorial that can be erected on the site, and whether future construction would impact that being able to be added.”

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Wickner says a memorial should be a feature of the property, adding “it’s important to get on that now rather than after everything is built and in place already.”

Though Wickner isn’t against the eventual completion of the tower, he’s looking “for a pause in construction to allow for the safety issues to be alleviated.

“And the pause can allow for some time for the families to be consulted on what is a proper memorial for these fallen workers.”

Click to play video: 'Questions asked about crane safety measures'
Questions asked about crane safety measures

Global News reached out to Mission Group, the company that’s constructing the tower.

However, in an email, the company said “please note that Mission Group will not be doing any interviews regarding the Bernard Block site,” and referred to a media advisory issued on Friday, Oct. 22.

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That advisory can be viewed on Mission Group’s website.

Global News also contacted WorkSafeBC about the ongoing investigation into the crane collapse.

Click to play video: 'Two new cranes will be assembled in downtown Kelowna'
Two new cranes will be assembled in downtown Kelowna

In an email, WorkSafeBC said its “OHS Investigations team is currently investigating the tower crane collapse. During the investigation, WorkSafeBC is working with subject-matter experts and engineers to examine the crane components, sequence of events, and work procedures that took place during the dismantling process.”

WorkSafeBC also said the purpose of the investigation “is to identify the cause of the incident, including any contributing factors, so that similar incidents can be prevented from happening in the future.”

WorkSafeBC noted that the investigation is ongoing, and that each case is unique, so a timeline for when a report will be issued cannot be determined.

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As of Tuesday afternoon, a petition regarding the new cranes had just over 250 signatures.

Visit this website to view the petition.

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