A young woman who climbed a construction crane near Toronto’s waterfront was taken into custody Thursday morning after police and firefighters conducted about an hour of negotiations and helped her descend to the ground.
The incident took place at a condo construction site just west of the downtown core. Firefighters said they received a call just after 6:30 a.m. about a woman in the operator booth at the top of the crane, but it wasn’t immediately clear how long she had been there.
“Crews made their way up there,” said Toronto Fire District Chief William Bygrave. “They discussed with her what her state of mind was … and if she could comply with their orders to get her down safely.”
After making sure the woman could descend without issues, crews escorted her down the ladder of the crane and then down several flights of stairs to a waiting ambulance, Bygrave said.
Police said the woman, who wasn’t wearing a shirt when she was found in the crane cab, was taken to hospital to be assessed. They said it was still unclear if charges would be laid.
Authorities are now working to determine just how the woman, who is in her 20s, got into the gated construction site and why she climbed the crane, Bygrave said.
“There is no indication of why or how she did this,” he said, noting that the woman was found without a harness or other safety equipment.
The boom of the crane partially hangs over a busy highway that runs through downtown Toronto and is about 43 metres or 10 storeys high, Bygrave said.
Ian Peters, who is part of the Toronto fire department’s emergency response team, was at the base of the crane as the woman climbed down.
He said she would have had to climb stairs to the top of the nine-storey building where the crane is located and then scale a ladder to the control booth atop the piece of machinery.
“We don’t know for sure how she got on the construction site, but she managed to find her way up there,” he said.
The incident comes after another high-profile crane incident last year.
In April 2017, a 23-year-old woman was stranded for hours after climbing a crane at a downtown construction site. She was rescued by a firefighter who climbed up and rappelled down the towering machinery with her.
Marisa Lazo pleaded guilty to two counts of mischief, but received an absolute discharge in January and was ordered to pay a victim surcharge.
— with files from Victoria Ahearn
Alanna Rizza , The Canadian Press