Evacuation order lifted a week after fatal crane collapse at Kelowna construction site

An evacuation order in place more than a week following a fatal crane collapse in Kelowna, B.C., has been lifted.

In a news release Tuesday, Central Okanagan Emergency Operations said the technical work of removing parts of the crane at the downtown construction site is complete, and it is now safe for people to return to 20 addresses previously covered by the order.

A full list of the addresses is below.

The following day officials said the order and related local state of emergency have both been lifted.

Officials said site engineer and utility providers have completed their inspections of the area as well.

The evacuation order was put in place on July 12, after the boom of a crane being dismantled came crashing down from several storeys overhead, striking buildings below.

Four men working at the Brooklyn Tower site died either at the scene or in hospital, and a fifth man who'd been working in a building nearby was also killed.

The deceased have been identified through online fundraisers as Cailen Vilness, Patrick Stemmer, Eric Stemmer, Jared Zook and Brad Zawislak.

A vigil was held over the weekend to honour those who died. 

It is not yet known what caused the collapse, and investigations are being conducted by both the local RCMP detachment and WorksafeBC, the province's workers' compensation board.

The following addresses are no longer under evacuation order:

  • 1450 Bertram St.
  • 1464 Bertram St.
  • 1468 Bertram St.
  • 1476 Bertram St.
  • 1488 Bertram St.
  • 1441 St. Paul St.
  • 100, 1449 St. Paul St.
  • 101, 1449 St. Paul St.
  • 105, 1449 St. Paul St.
  • 106, 1449 St. Paul St.
  • 200, 1449 St. Paul St.
  • 200A, 1449 St. Paul St.
  • 201, 1449 St. Paul St.
  • 202, 1449 St. Paul St.
  • 203, 1449 St. Paul St.
  • 203A, 1449 St. Paul St.
  • 204, 1449 St. Paul St.
  • 204A, 1449 St. Paul St.
  • 100, 1461 St. Paul St.
  • 200, 1461 St. Paul St.
  • 1471 St. Paul St.

Although the evacuation order has been lifted, residents of the building at 1450 Bertram St. will not be allowed in until Thursday at noon.

This is to allow for the completion of restoration work, Central Okanagan Emergency Operations said in a statement.

Power and gas were shut off during the collapse and subsequent days, but both have since been restored to all properties other than at 1449 St. Paul St., which is still without gas.

"This building was physically impacted by the crane collapse and is undergoing a structural survey by the building owner and remains closed at this time," the statement said.