A 200FT crane crashed through the roof of a city centre apartment block today sparking a massive search and rescue operation.
The Royal was put on standby amid fears of casualties.
The man driving the 100 tonne crane was thrown from the cab on impact. He is in a serious condition in hospital.
It is understood a number of residents were initially trapped inside the apartment block.
The crash happened at 12.05pm in Tabley Street, behind Park Lane, on the outskirts of the city centre.
Police, fire and ambulance crews were called to the scene.
Merseyside Fire and Rescue service described it as a "major incident".
A huge cordon was thrown around the scene.
Eyewitness Maria Toolan, 39, who lives in the apartment block opposite, said: "I heard a horrendous noise and ran to the balcony. I watched in horror as a massive red crane tumbled into the apartment block.
"I was in complete shock as all I could think of is what if it had fallen the other way and landed on me.
"I would surely have died as I am in the penthouse."
Sarah Banfield, 21, lives on the fourth floor of the apartment building and was in her bedroom at the moment the crane crashed with her boyfriend.
She said: "We were just standing there and the floor started shaking. My first thought was that it must have been a massive earthquake.
"I went out onto the balcony and as I could see was a cloud of dust and I hear a girl crying.
"I then grabbed by shoes and bag and we ran out of the door. There was water everywhere as the pipes had all burst.
"We opened the door to the emergency exit and couldn’t see the floor because of all the debris.
"We made our way down three flights of stairs before realising that the door at the bottom was blocked.
"At this point I started to panic as I really didn’t want to go back up.
"We then heard someone above us and we just started screaming "help, help we’re across here".
"A workman came and helped us. He showed us where to tread and he was holding my hand. He got us out of there."
Sarah is still clearly in shock and was wrapped in an aluminium foil blanket. She added: "I am just grateful to have escaped."
James Barry operations commander at the scene said that it was lucky the incident happened when it did as most people were out of their homes and at work.
He said: "In the process of collapsing across the building the crane damaged the integral stair case which has created issues.
"We are carrying out a systematic knocking on all floors to check that there is no one left in the building. There are stability issues with the building as the five tonne counter weight has crashed through the building."
Sniffer dogs are currently checking debris to make sure that no one is trapped in the building.
A spokeswoman for North West Regional Ambulance Service said ambulances had been sent out to the scene and staff at Royal Liverpool Hospital are on standby.
She said: "We were called at 12.04pm. A crane has gone into a block of flats. We are still at the scene so we haven’t got much information.
"We have got six vehicles there but not all are emergency ambulances, two are ambulances, there’s a rapid response vehicle and a high dependency unit. There are also two managers at the scene in their vehicles.
"We’ve got the Royal on standby, just in case."
Thom Shannon, a director of Glow New Media in nearby Gostin's Building, said: "The crane has fallen over onto the north side of the apartment building. It's buckled over onto the top of the building.
"We looked out of the window here and saw a strange red shape on the building.
"The crane has ripped through the top of the building."
A builder working on the Bowmer and Kirkland site said: "We heard a massive rumble which sounded like a plane taking off or a clap of thunder and we all turned round and watched as the crane fell into the building."THE POST