Drill rig collapses, crushing 2 cars on State Street in Salt Lake City

A crane collapsed and crushed two cars parked on South State Street in Salt Lake City on Tuesday night, blocking southbound lanes.

One person was injured in the incident.

Police originally said the crane operator was in serious condition after falling about 20 feet, but on Wednesday the construction company said the drill rig operator was the person injured, and his injuries did not appear life-threatening.

"We are happy to report that the drill rig ... operator's supervisors have updated us on his condition this morning, and the report is good; he was diagnosed to have a small fracture in his lower back, and latest reports are that there will be no treatment other than rest, and that it is expected to heal in time and not be a long-term health issue. He was said to be bruised and sore, but in good spirits," Amy Christensen, Jacobsen Construction spokeswoman, said in a written statement.

The incident happened around 9 p.m. and closed State Street at 200 South in Salt Lake City. The street remained closed Wednesday morning.

Police are asking drivers to take an alternate route to avoid the area.

"This is pretty uncommon, for as much as Salt Lake City has been building in the last few years. We've really been fortunate," Mumedy said.

Jill Wiscomb and her husband had just left Eccles Theatre on Tuesday night when they noticed flashing lights.

"My husband said, 'I think that's where I parked,' and I said, 'I think that's my car that's underneath that's smashed,'" Wiscomb recalled.

"It happened five minutes before we got there so that was a little alarming," she added.

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She and her family members expressed gratitude they weren't in the car at the time of the accident and urged others to "just hold the people you love a little bit closer tonight and be grateful that everyone is safe."

The drill operator was working on foundation drilling at the time of the incident, Christensen said.

"All of the professionals who work on our sites are family, and their safety and wellbeing are our top priority. We are committed to learning as much about what caused this and taking proactive steps to ensure the continued safety at this project site," the statement said.

"Following the incident, we activated our response teams, which are trained and prepared for circumstances like this. We don't yet have all the details of how this occurred but are suspending operations for 24 hours while gathering information for a safety investigation," Christensen said Wednesday morning.

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