Manhattan Crane Topples Into Street Killing 1, Injuring 3
Fri February 05, 2016 - Northeast Edition CEG
A huge construction crane being lowered to safety in a snow squall plummeted into a Lower Manhattan street Friday, killing a person in a parked car and leaving three people wounded by debris that scattered as the rig's lengthy boom fell.
NEW YORK (AP) — A huge construction crane being lowered to safety in a snow squall plummeted into a Lower Manhattan street Friday, killing a person in a parked car and leaving three people wounded by debris that scattered as the rig's lengthy boom fell, officials said.
The boom landed across an intersection, smashed several car roofs and stretched much of a block after the accident around 8:25 a.m. at a historic building about 10 blocks north of the World Trade Center.
Robert Harold heard a crashing sound as the rig fell right outside his office window at the Legal Aid Society.
"You could feel the vibration in the building," said Harold, who recounted seeing onlookers trying to rescue someone trapped in a parked car and seeing a person lying motionless on the street.
The street was blocked off for at least 3 blocks and nearby buildings were evacuated after the collapse. Subway trains bypassed the area, and fire and utility officials checked and rechecked nearby buildings for gas leaks. De Blasio said they had so far found no cause for concern.
All 376 mobile cranes registered with the city, as well as all 43 of the larger tower cranes, were ordered put in secure positions.
Crane safety came under scrutiny in the city in 2008, when two tower cranes collapsed in Manhattan within two months of each other, killing a total of nine people. A crane rigger and crane owner were tried and acquitted on manslaughter charges; a mechanic pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide.
The accidents spurred the resignation of the city buildings commissioner and fueled new safety measures, including hiring more inspectors and expanding training requirements and inspection checklists.
But another crane fell and killed a worker in April 2012 at a subway construction site that was exempt from most city building safety rules. In January 2013, a crane collapsed at a Queens construction site and injured seven workers.
In April, a construction worker died when the hydraulics malfunctioned on the boom truck he was inspecting in midtown Manhattan, causing the boom to collapse and fall on him, pinning him against the flatbed.
Last May, a mobile crane with a 168-foot boom dropped a 13-ton air conditioner being placed atop a midtown Manhattan building, injuring 10 people.
In other incidents, cranes have dropped loads or come close to falling apart, including a dramatic episode in which a crane's boom nearly snapped off during Superstorm Sandy and dangled precariously over a midtown block near Carnegie Hall.
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