Residents of a Bryan Place apartment complex where a crane fell over the weekend were able to return to their homes to gather a few things before heading back to the hotel rooms where they're likely to be living for at least a few weeks.
Shortly before 2 p.m. Sunday, a strong thunderstorm toppled the crane, which was set up at a nearby construction site, into a wall at the Elan City Lights apartment complex at the corner of Live Oak Street and North Good-Latimer Expressway. The crash left a 29-year-old woman dead and sent five more to the hospital, according to Dallas Fire-Rescue.
Kiersten Symone Smith, 29, was taken to a hospital after the crash, where she was pronounced dead at 2:37 p.m., according to the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office.
Another two people were taken to the hospital in critical condition, two more were seriously injured, and a fifth was treated for a minor injury and quickly released from the hospital, said Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans. A second patient was released from the hospital Sunday night. All are expected to recover.
The fire department is working with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Biggie Crane Co. to determine how to remove the crane. Once removal work begins, the process is expected to take about two days, Evans said.
In a Facebook post, Dallas photographer Alec Corona, a resident of the apartment complex, said he saw a couple stranded on their balcony and a bloodied girl screaming out of a window in the moments after the accident.
Although the crash damaged only a few units, the five-story apartment complex's management, Greystar Properties, shut down the entire facility, moved residents into hotels and gave them a per diem allowance for food.
The apartment complex wasn't the only property that sustained damage in Sunday's thunderstorms. Residents across Dallas reported roof damage and downed limbs, and Oncor reported more than 200,000 power outages Sunday afternoon.
On Monday, staffers from the property management company met with residents at the nearby Latino Cultural Center to schedule times for residents to go back into their apartments, escorted by police and firefighters, and gather some belongings.
Shortly after noon Monday, Kasia Uwnal, 31, was leaving the cultural center after meeting with Greystar staff. She hadn't been allowed back into her apartment since the crash but said her unit wasn't one of the ones the crane smashed into. Still, the crash was close enough that her apartment may have sustained structural damage, she said.
On Monday, Uwnal got more information about the hotel where she'll be living until the apartment complex reopens. But Greystar staff couldn't give her an estimate of how long she'll be displaced, and some of the information they did give her was conflicting, she said. Some staffers told her to take only a few small personal items from her apartment. Others told her to get as much as she could carry.
Uwnal said she had lived in the apartment for a couple of weeks before the crash. A native of Poland, she moved down from Oklahoma City and into Elan City Lights in late May.
"Lucky me," she said.
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