The crane, with a 565-foot boom that stretched roughly as long as a city block, plummeted around 8:24 a.m. EST in New York City. Twisted red-colored metal from the plunging boom smashed into parked cars and debris littered streets and sidewalks.
Construction work was halted on the building Thursday after operators decided to lower and secure the crane against winds, which at times gusted between 20-25 mph.
“The report said they were in the process of securing the crane, actually preparing to bring it down, to be secured”
There likely would have been more victims if workmen hadn’t already cleared the area of traffic and people to prepare for lowering the crane. “It’s something of a miracle that there was not more of an impact.”
A few wind gusts of 20-25 mph were reported between 8 and 9 a.m. Friday in Manhattan, according to data from Weather Underground.
The equipment that collapsed is known as a crawler crane, which consists of an upper carriage, or boom, mounted on a crawler-type undercarriage that can be moved from one location to another. The boom is capable of hoisting 330 tons of weight.
The City Department of Buildings inspectors checked the crane Thursday morning, when workers installed an extension to the upper boom.
The city issued orders for all crawler cranes across the city to be secured as investigators tried to determine the cause of Friday’s accident. It has been the city’s first major crane collapse since 2008.
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer said municipal building officials had failed to implement the many recommendations from a 2014 audit on construction crane safety.