3 injured in accident at Downtown Seattle construction site

SEATTLE -- Three people were hurt in an accident at an office building construction site in Downtown Seattle Thursday afternoon.

Firefighters were called around 12:40 p.m. for a rope rescue attempt at a site 75 feet below street level in the 600 block of Lenora. Video from Air 4 showed injured workers being strapped to a backboard then lifted by crane up to awaiting ambulances.

Seattle fire officials said the three were working near a conveyor belt when it malfunctioned. Two workers down in the pit suffered ankle injuries and had to be pulled out by crane while a third worker at street level suffered a head injury. All three were taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment and were expected to survive.

"The challenge for us was getting the patients out," said Kyle Moore with Seattle Fire. "So what we were able to do was use the crane that was already on site, and sent firefighters down below... they were able to package them up...and had the crane lift them up."

Bob McCleskey with Sellen Construction said their crews routinely train with Seattle firefighters for such an emergency to use their construction cranes and man baskets to extract injured workers from areas well below street level.

"We did one on another project just down the street this past Sunday and we work together quite well," McCleskey said.

The construction site was shut down for the day and an investigation is under way, McCleskey said, adding he's very confident work at the site will resume Friday.