Windows shattered in some buildings and debris and bricks loosened from buildings cascaded onto sidewalks and some city streets. Frightened residents said they could hear metal grinding as the city?s famed Space Needle rocked to-and-fro, though the building?s owner later said it apparently came through the quake unscathed.
Seattle?s Haborview Medical Center reported treating at least 29 people for quake-related injuries, four of whom were in critical condition. It said the injuries ranged from ?crushing injuries,? to burns and cardiac failure.
The FAA ordered a national ground stop for Seattle, which meant no flights to the Northwest?s largest city were being allowed to take off anywhere in the country. The center handling air traffic in Washington and Oregon, near Auburn, Wash., was operating on backup power.
Federal emergency teams were mobilized in Washington state and
In Seattle, fire crews responded to more than 30 emergency calls. One of the potentially more dangerous situations involved a warehouse full of highly flammable carpets in south Seattle, where flames could be seen burning through the roof of the building.
Gas leaks were reported at several downtown buildings.
?I THINK WE HAVE … WEATHERED IT?
At a news conference, Seattle Mayor Paul Schell said an initial assessment indicated that damage was widespread, but not severe. ?I think we have weathered it,? he said. ?It looks so far as if everything is working but it is too soon to tell.?
ELEVATORS PASSENGERS ?PANICKED?
?Everyone was panicked,? said Paulette DeRooy, who was in an elevator descending from the 15th floor from a downtown Seattle building when the temblor struck. She and several others scrambled onto a fire escape.
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Screams erupted at a nearby hotel, where Microsoft founder Bill Gates was addressing an education and technology conference. He was whisked away as his audience bolted for the exits. Some audience members