NYC Crane Collapse Claims 1


Authorities are investigating what caused a crane to collapse in lower Manhattan Friday (Feb. 5), killing a 38-year-old man and seriously injuring at least three others.

The construction crane reportedly came down just before 8:30 a.m., collapsing onto cars, part of a building, and the street below, scattering debris more than the length of a city block, reports said, citing officials and witnesses.  

While they had not yet identified the victims by Friday afternoon, New York’s news media indicated the victim who was killed died at the scene and others were hit by fallen debris and were expected to survive.

The crane, owned by Bay Crane, was being used to replace generators and air conditioners atop the former Western Union Building in Tribeca, the Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler told media outlets. The company had not commented on the incident as of Friday afternoon.

Crash Details

Mayor Bill de Blasio said workers had been moving a large crawler crane, with a 565 feet boom length, into a secure position when it fell.

“They got to the work site this morning at 7, recognizing the winds were in the 20 miles an hour plus range and were proceeding to secure the crane, actually brining it down to a safe and secure position when this incident occurred,” he explained to media outlets.

He also expressed condolences for the loss of life and indicated that from the looks of the scene, it could have been much worse.

Early Concerns

Witnesses and others told news outlets they had concerns about the crane prior to the collapse and questioned the workers trying to bring it down amid the storm.

“We saw that the crane was a little bent and it was still all the way up in the sky,” a woman told a local CBS affiliate. “The cable had snapped two days ago lifting something up so that crane should have been completely out of commission. Somehow, they left the crane all the way up and last night when we came by, the top of the crane was already sideways.”

An electrician who was working on the 36th floor of a nearby building told the New York Times that the wind was responsible for blowing the equipment down.

“That crane should have been down last night,” Dan Vaughan told the newspaper.

Witnesses said the collapse caused a loud crash and vibrations in nearby buildings.

Probe Begins

The mayor said a full investigation was underway.

“There is going to be a full investigation to find out what went wrong and obviously, if it tells us anything that will lead to changes going forward,” de Blasio said.

The permitted crane had been up since Jan. 30 and had been inspected as early as Thursday (Feb. 4), officials said, according to reports.

The collapse caused numerous street closures in the area and those who live or work nearby should expect to be cut off for several days, the mayor noted.


Tagged categories: Access; Accidents; Cranes; Equipment manufacturers; Fatalities; Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; North America; Workers

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