Emergency Service officials in London say a rescue operation is under way after a 20-meter construction crane collapsed late Wednesday onto two houses and a block of apartments under development in east London's Bow neighborhood.
London Fire Brigade Assistant Commissioner Graham Ellis said search-and-rescue crews were using specialized equipment to search the properties as part of "a complex rescue operation."
Ellis told reporters the collapse required a "multi-agency response and is likely to be a protracted incident.″
The London Ambulance Service said crews and a team of specialist paramedics who work in hazardous environments were at the scene. They reported two people were treated for injuries at the scene and two others had been taken to the hospital with head injuries.
A witness who lives nearby, Bridget Tierney, told reporters that she saw the crane collapse while working from her home. She said the crane made a loud noise and a big plume of dust came up as it fell.
She said she saw the crane fall through the top story of a building site before it collapsed onto the homes, trapping two men, including the crane's operator.
According to Teirney, emergency services arrived within five minutes and gave the operator a rope to climb down from the crane's cabin, while another man was pinned under the boom.