Crane sends pipe careening into Seattle bus on Highway 520 bridge followed by a crashing traffic sign

Updated Mar 21, 2015

Eight passengers on a bus traveling across the Highway 520 in Seattle were hospitalized Tuesday night after a construction accident resulted in a traffic sign toppling atop the bus.

The totaled bus. Credit: Mari Kuster via FOX 13 TVThe totaled bus. Credit: Mari Kuster via FOX 13 TV

According to a report from the Seattle Times, Washington State Department of Transportation and Washington State Patrol officials said a crane lifting pipe as part of the Highway 520 bridge replacement project over Lake Washington lost control of one of its loads as it swung over a live lane of traffic.

“(The pipe) swung over, hit the bus, ricocheted off the top of the bus and hit the sign, causing the sign to fall on the bus,” Trooper Chris Webb told the paper.

A subcontractor for Flatiron Construction was moving the pipe, which is being used to support a temporary work bridge in the lake.

“They’re not supposed to swing across a live lane of traffic. That was never supposed to happen,” WSDOT spokesman Ian Sterling told the paper.

This is the second serious accident to happen at the bridge in the last week alone, though under a different contractor. On March 12, a worker was killed after falling some 60 feet from the bridge’s east high-rise which is being built as a joint venture between the Kiewit, General and Manson firms.

WSDOT officials met with Flatiron Wednesday to “discuss what happened, and possibly change how the job is done,” the Times reports.