A crane lifting a four-ton air conditioning unit to the 30th floor of a building in midtown Manhattan had a sudden accident, dropping the unit to the sidewalk below and smashing up the building. The falling debris injured 10 people and damaged a few cars.
According to the New York Daily News, the air conditioner was the size of a shipping container. As the crane broke and dropped the unit, it sheared the facade of building, adding glass and concrete to the wreckage falling to the ground. The bottom of the building is wider than the top, creating a slide of glass for any falling object.
Local News7 reports the crane incident happened at about 11 a.m. Sunday morning on Madison avenue in Manhattan, between 38th and 39th Streets.
Mayor Bill de Blasio explained that the timing was fortunate.
“Thank God this incident occurred at an hour of a day on a weekend where there were not too many people around.”
Crane accident just now at 38 & Madison – apparently no one hurt, a few cars hit by building debris pic.twitter.com/yLc4Zhr1jj
— borborygmi (@nickgenes) May 31, 2015
The mayor added that this was a very serious crane accident and the injured people were “primarily pedestrians.”
Although no one was severely injured, two construction workers were taken to Bellevue Hospital. The others went to NYU Hospital for treatment.
Holly Moore, 51, said the debris fell into the streets, hitting a car and injuring the person inside.
“Stuff from the building was falling from the sky. People were screaming,”
Ibrahim Schovic, a 20-year-old security guard from the Manhattan building across the street, was hurt in the accident before running with another passerby through the back of the building.
“He looked really scared. He kept yelling Help! Help! It’s the scariest day of my life.”
The immediate cause of the crane failure was a snapped cable. The crane passed recent inspections, according to authorities. Likewise, the Buildings Department approved a permit for the Skylift contractor to operate a 375-foot crane to deliver the air conditioning unit to the 29th or 30th floor of the building.
According to FoxNY, streets surrounding the crane accident have been shut down, and drivers are being advised to seek out other routes through an emergency alert. Mayor de Blasio says the situation will be cleaned up before the Manhattan’s Monday rush.
The falling air conditioning unit and crane may have been terrifying, but most are just grateful no one was severely hurt.
[Image Credit: Getty Images]