“There’s a lot happening at 28th and Burnside” the chic website of Sunrose Condominiums smoothly announces. Right now, that tagline is horrifyingly true -- the condo site is the scene of a life and death situation as a construction crane operator hangs 60 feet above Burnside, stuck inside a giant electrified crane. According to officer Richard Terry, at 2pm the crane’s hook swiped a “very high voltage” power line across the street, immediately knocking out power to 40 blocks on the Eastside and possibly electrocuting the unknown operator.
The operator's stuck in this little box:
Now a crowd of watches from under the awning of the corner Starbucks, sipping iced coffee while the stuck operator waits. Terry said the rescue team saw him move. “He is conscious, but we don’t know the extent of his injuries,” Terry said. The team can’t get to the operator right away because it’s possible the entire crane is still electrified. Once the engineers shut off all the electricity coming into the transmission line, the rescuers can scale the crane and hopefully remove the man. The operation might be touch and go because, in Terry’s memory, the rescue team has never dealt with a crane this big running into an electrical line.
UPDATE: The guy survived! According to an officer at the scene, the rescue team went up the crane, talked to the operator for a while and then he was able to climb down without any help. Miracle of miracles!