1 dead after crane accident causes fire, power outage in Palm Bay, police say

One person is dead after a crane accident in Palm Bay caused a fire and a subsequent power outage, according to a spokesperson for the Palm Bay Police Department. 

The crane accident happened near Valencia Street and San Filippo Drive on Wednesday morning, police said, adding that calls about the incident started coming in at around 9:30 a.m. 

Image 1 of 14


Police said a crane operator working in the area might have touched power lines, causing a crane to catch fire, plus causing power outages in the area. The person who died was working on new construction and a crane came into contact with hot power lines, a police spokesperson said on the scene.

As of 4 p.m., power was not restored for families. Crews are simultaneously working to remove the massive crane while repairing the damaged lines.

Neighbors said they first heard popping noises when they noticed something was wrong. Dale Taylor lives nearby. He heard a loud "Kaboom! Sounded like a bomb went off." 

Another neighbor captured the flames and black smoke filling the air from his yard. "By the time we got out here, we saw it was all on fire and everything. It was just starting to come down when it knocked over the power lines," said Mark Brennan.

RELATED: Scaffolding tumbles down onto downtown Orlando streets, creating massive mess

Brennan is devastated someone lost a life in the accident. "I was heartbroken when I learned that someone had actually passed away. I feel real bad for their family," he added.

Palm Bay Police did not immediately identify the victim by name on Wednesday, but workers came by the scene and told FOX 35 News they knew the person who died. They said he was young, and they were trying to process the loss. 

Numerous agencies are investigating what caused the accident. The CDC says more than half of crane-related electrocutions happen in the construction industry.

A preliminary investigation shows this was an accident, but the investigation is ongoing. 

This is a developing story.