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At least 4 hurt after crane collapses, damages building under construction in Midtown

Crews found four people with minor injuries, but at the time, seven employees were unaccounted for. All 11 people have been found.

ATLANTA — At least one apartment building remains evacuated after a crane collapse at a building under construction in Midtown sent four people to the hospital. It all happened between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. along West Peachtree Street Monday afternoon, Atlanta Fire Rescue officials said. 

At that time, Capt. Michael Roman with the department said people noticed what appeared to be smoke and called to report a fire. Instead, when firefighters arrived, they noticed that a crane had collapsed, sending dust from the crumbling concrete into the air.

Roman said firefighters found four people with minor injuries, but at the time, seven employees were unaccounted for. All 11 people have been found.

The four people who were injured were all taken to Grady Hospital for treatment.

Infrastructure company Balfour Beatty said the crane malfunctioned, "resulting in the counterweights dislodging from the crane and falling to the parking deck below," the statement reads. "First responders arrived quickly to treat four injured workers who were subsequently taken to the hospital."

It's not yet known which floor the crane was on, but 11Alive learned that floors one through nine are the parking garage, while floors nine and up are soon-to-be apartments.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials have begun an investigation into the incident.

Because of the crane's instability, fire officials shut down operations at the construction site for safety. Roman said they are waiting for building engineers and crane operators before moving forward, and urged the public to avoid the area.

Evacuations in place

The state of the crane initially forced the evacuations of four buildings in a four-block radius of the collapse.

Monday evening, at least one evacuation remained in place for residents of the Tens on West apartments. Some residents said that they were notified they would need somewhere else to stay for the night, adding that they could be displaced for up to three days. 

11Alive reached out to The Red Cross and other officials to see efforts are being coordinated to help. A resident told 11Alive a shelter is being made available at The Central Park Recreational Center at 400 Merritt Ave in Atlanta. They also added the Homewood Suites in Midtown also blocked off some rooms for residents.

"We are grateful to the emergency personnel who responded promptly to assess the situation and secure the area," Balfour Beatty's statement said. "The construction site has been closed and the surrounding area has been cordoned off until the safety of the area has been confirmed. We are working closely with local authorities and a thorough investigation into the cause of the incident is underway.”

Images show damage to the top levels of the building under construction, with at least one part of the façade crumbled.

Roman said the crane is attached to the structure, which he said is common.

OSHA was also called to investigate.

How to get around road closures

West Peachtree Street is currently closed as Atlanta Police officers assist Atlanta Fire direct traffic around the scene due to building structure damage at 1052 West Peachtree Street.

As engineers continue to assess the situation, police are telling drivers to avoid the area of West Peachtree and 10th. 

According to 11Alive's Traffic Expert, Crash Clark, the best way around this is to use Peachtree Street. 

Some commuters use West Peachtree, which is a one-way street heading north for direct access to the Buford Spring Connector. Drivers can also use Peachtree Street northbound, and that will take them directly to the Buford Spring Connector, just after it merges with Spring Street.

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