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1 dead, 6 injured after storm topples crane into Dallas apartments

Officials respond to the scene after a crane collapsed into Elan City Lights apartments amid severe thunderstorms Sunday, June 9, 2019, in Dallas. Injuries were reported Sunday afternoon when storms pummeled parts of North Texas.

SHABAN ATHUMAN, THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS/AP

By JESUS JIMENEZ, DANA BRANHAM, SARA COELLO AND EMMA RUBY | The Dallas Morning News | Published: June 9, 2019

DALLAS (Tribune News Service) — One person was killed and at least six others were injured Sunday afternoon when a crane fell into an Old East Dallas apartment building as storms pummeled parts of North Texas.

Crews searching Elan City Lights apartments found a woman inside an apartment after the crane crashed into the east side of the building, Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said. She later was pronounced dead.

Six other people were hospitalized at Parkland Memorial Hospital and Baylor University Medical Center. Two were transported in critical condition, three were in serious condition and one was treated and released, Evans said.

Crews were called just before 2 p.m. local time to the 2600 block of Live Oak Street, near U.S. Highway 75 and North Good-Latimer Expressway, Evans said.

It was not clear late Sunday afternoon whether other people were missing or trapped inside the apartments and the collapsed parking garage. Plano police dogs were at the location to help first responders search the structures, he said.

The cause of the collapse has not been confirmed, Evans said.

Yesenia Bosquez’s family had moved into their top-floor apartment just two weeks before the crane came crashing through Sunday. She returned from a shopping trip to find her apartment, where she’d left her husband, Jay, to recover from a shoulder injury, crushed by the twisted metal.

It took about 30 minutes for authorities to tell her that her husband had been rescued alive and had been holding their dog while medics worked on his injuries.

“It felt like a year,” Bosquez said. An hour later, she still didn’t know which hospital he was taken to.

Isaiah Allen was in his apartment when he heard what he thought was the loudest thunderclap he had ever heard but quickly realized the sound came from the collapsed crane.

“I saw that the crane had actually fell straight through the building and had destroyed a good eight to 10 apartments, and so there’s like floors and stuff falling through,” he said.

Allen said he saw a bloodied woman trapped in her apartment on the second floor.

Steven Cooney said he had been standing on his balcony, watching debris fly off a nearby building that was under construction, when the crane fell right next to him.

Cooney went to the parking garage, but it had collapsed. As he was leaving the building, he said he saw injured people who were trapped on the balconies.

Residents who were evacuated from the building gathered, holding their pets and nothing else. Others said their pets were still inside.

Joshua Gomez, 23, was taking the trash from his third-floor apartment to the chute in the garage when a curtain of rubble came down in front of him.

He ran back to his apartment to find his dog, Lucky, cowering under the bed. Once they were out of the apartment, he scooped Lucky up and ran outside, yelling to neighbors along the way.

He doesn’t know where they’ll stay tonight, or how they’ll get there without his brand new truck, which was buried in the rubble.

“I just feel blessed, though,” Gomez said. “Thank goodness I got out.”

A billboard was knocked down at Hall Street and McKinney Avenue in Uptown, damaging two vehicles. No injuries were reported.

Joy Jones and two friends pulled into the parking lot when the rain started. Moments later, wind knocked down the billboard, which scraped the right side of Jones’s car.

“It just picked up so fast and it was not even raining,” Jones said.

Another vehicle, a silver Cadillac Escalade, was under the billboard and had damage to the front windshield and back window. No one was in the SUV when the billboard fell.

“I’m just glad we weren’t in it,” said Stephanie Carenca of Plano, who owns the Cadillac.

Carenca, of Plano, was getting ready to leave from lunch at Breadwinners when she saw the billboard land on her SUV.

“All of the sudden, we heard this bang, the lights flickered and it smelled like something was burning,” she said.

By 4 p.m., the storm had moved south of Dallas, leaving a mess of downed trees, some street flooding and other wind damage across the metropolitan area.

More than 200,000 customers were affected by outages across North Texas as of 2 p.m., according to Oncor.

The National Weather Service recorded a 71 mph gust at Dallas Love Field, where WFAA-TV reported that a hangar door and part of the roof at a Southwest Airlines maintenance facility was torn away. No injuries were reported.

Winds up to 63 mph were also reported in Richardson and 60 mph in Denton.

Strong wind and damage also were reported in Collin and Rockwall counties, according to the weather service.

The largest hail reported in Dallas-Fort Worth measured about 1.5 inches

There were also reports of hail damage to windows in Richardson and Collin County, and hail measuring about 1.5 inches was reported in Garland, National Weather Service meteorologist Joey Picca said.

Staff writer Claire Cardona and staff photographer Shaban Athuman contributed to this report.
©2019 The Dallas Morning News
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