Manhattan Crane Accident Leaves 10 Injured

A Manhattan crane accident has left 10 people injured.

The New York Times reports that a heating and air-conditioning unit, weighing several tons, broke free while being lifted by a crane and fell 30 stories, shearing the building in the process, to land on the ground in Midtown Manhattan on Sunday, May 31. The incident occurred on a stretch of Madison Avenue, between East 38th and East 39th Street, at approximately 10:43 a.m.

According to the Associated Press, two of the injured were construction workers, while the others were pedestrians and occupants of passing cars. Mayor Bill de Blasio said they were all struck by falling debris. The construction workers were taken to Bellevue Hospital Center, and two of the pedestrians were taken to NYU Langone Medical Center. The others who were injured refused any medical treatment.

“It was like a train car fell off the side of the building,” said Meredith Kelly, a tourist from Atlanta who was walking down the street when the unit fell.

“Stuff from the building was falling from the sky. People were screaming,” Holly Moore, another onlooker, said.

Mayor de Blasio called the accident “obviously, a very serious incident.” He also noted that the incident could have been far worse if it had occurred on a weekday.

“Thank God, this incident occurred at an hour of the day on a weekend when there were not too many people around,” he said, according to the Associated Press.

Buildings Department Commissioner Rick Chandler said it was normal for work to be done on the weekends and all of the permits that are involved in operating the crane were “in place.” He said there had been no prior complaints about the crane. “We think this device, in this preliminary stage, is in good state and we’ll follow up with that,” Chandler said.

On Sunday, officials were still trying to determine the reason the load fell. The streets surrounding the area have been closed, and motorists are being advised to seek other routes through an emergency alert.

Everyone is just relieved that the Manhattan crane accident didn’t leave more people injured, or worse.

[Photo by Eric Thayer / Getty Images]

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