Second Toronto crane collapse in three weeks just misses pedestrians; mayor calls for inspections

A second crane collapse in Toronto in three weeks which narrowly missed pedestrians and knocked out power to thousands in Regent Park, has prompted the mayor to call for more inspections, while also getting reaction from the premier. 

It was around 10:30 a.m. at a construction site at River St. and Dundas St. when the crane collapsed into street, striking down power lines. 

A woman on the street managed to escape injury though her bike was crushed, while a man in the area was treated by EMS for shock, but was physically okay. 

Toronto Fire Platoon Chief Dan Sell said it's usually a much busier scene. 

"We just got away lucky," he said, adding the initial information was that as the crane was being inspected, it appears that a couple of shear bolts were missing. "This could've been much worse. 

Jennifer Lachance just happened to be on her 14th floor balcony across from the site when she saw the incident. 

"It was slow-motion, it was like something you see in a movie, it was very, very slow," she said. "It was a miracle, someone's watching somebody, just happened that it wasn't as busy as it normally is, because there's usually cars and everything here and always people at the bus stop." 

Toronto Mayor John Tory issued a statement, saying his office has reached out to the ministry. 

"To make sure clear direction is sent to the construction industry as soon as possible and that they consider additional inspections," he said, adding he encourages the industry to take all precautions possible to make sure sites and cranes continue to be safe.

The incident comes three weeks after a crane collapsed on top of an office buildling at Wellington and Simcoe on July 16th, involving PCL Constructors Canada. 

The construction company involved this time, Daniels Construction, released a statement, saying the partial collapse was because of a mechanical failure. 

"The crane was not in operation at the time, there was no operator on board and no serious injuries have been reported," the statement from vice-president Sam Tassone said. "Construction at the site has been temporarily suspended and we are fully cooperating with investigators. We have also initiated our own internal investigation into the incident." 

Premier Doug Ford said the ministry has been picking up on inspections, but this is concerning. 

"I can't remember for all the years I was at City Hall, a crane collapsing, definitely two back-to-back, there's an issue, but we're onto it," he said.