NYC Neighborhood Shook After Crane Falls From The Sky
A construction crane engulfed in flames and collapsed in midtown Manhattan on Wednesday, striking the side of a nearby building and sending terrified commuters and construction workers running for their lives.
The collapsing crane, which started burning in its engine cab area at 7:15 a.m., was attached to the luxury 47-story apartment building under construction at 550 10th Ave. It had been carrying 16 tonnes of concrete when it snapped and crashed. Six people were injured, including two firefighters on the scene.
"As you can see from the debris on the street, this could have been much worse," New York City Mayor Eric Adams said Wednesday from 10th Ave. " We were fortunate that it didn't happen at a busier time of day."
Frightening video footage showed the flaming crane strike the side of the 55-floor 555 10th Avenue apartment building opposite it. However, an eyewitness claims that the tower was only struck with wet cement and was not seriously damaged.
The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) confirmed that the collapse was caused by the fire overheating the cable of the crane, which snapped and triggered the collapse. Residents living with a view of the scary scene heard screams from the construction workers at around 715 am.
It was reported that co-workers identified the crane operator and said he initially tried fighting the blaze but evacuated when it grew too big. He attempted to put out the fire but fled the cab once he realized the blaze was too large.
When reporters approached the shaken construction worker, he declined to comment.
According to authority Richard Paz, a cable hauling wet concrete up to the top of the building site overheated just before the fire. The crane controller noticed that the mechanics had stopped working, he said, because a computer system shut it down when the cable started burning out.
"Most of the fire has been extinguished, but presently we have a fifth-alarm fire assignment, over 200 firefighters at the scene," FDNY deputy commissioner Joseph Pefier said in a statement.
People staying in nearby hotels and apartment blocks were quickly evacuated, while storefronts had their glass shattered. Over 200 firefighters rushed up to a nearby balcony and desperately battled the inferno - which blazed 500 feet above the Manhattan skyline this morning.
The crane is owned by New Jersey-based Lomma, whose late founder James Lomma was ordered to pay $96 million to two construction workers killed when another of his cranes collapsed in 2008, according to DailyMail.
After the fire had been extinguished, a large yellow crane was used to remove the destroyed cement mixer, boom, and crane.
"Our guys can’t remove the crane without the all clear," one of the construction workers told Daily Mail. "It will likely take till tonight to clear the road and then we’ll remove the crane. I can’t be sure how long that will take."
NYC Mayor's Office urged people to "use alternate routes and expect traffic in the area" within 10th Avenue and 11th Avenue from West 41 Street to West 42 Street.
The FDNY initially responded to the fire at 7:25 a.m., but the top part of the crane, the boom, and a 16-tonne load crashed to the ground at around 7:30 a.m. This could have been much worse, fortunately, the city was spared a far bigger disaster.