A crane collapsed in Lower Manhattan, smashing the roofs of parked cars as it crashed onto the street, authorities said. One person died and two others were seriously injured.
The accident happened around 8:25 a.m. in the Tribeca neighborhood, about 10 blocks north of the World Trade Center. The collapsed red metal lattice landed across an intersection and stretched much of a block. There was damage to the roof of a nearby building, and debris littered the street.
Television images showed the crane lying on top of several crushed vehicles. It stretched out for more than one city block, according to the New York Department of Transportation.
The Associated Press reported that Robert Harold, who works at the Legal Aid Society, said,
“It was a crashing sound. You could feel the vibration in the building. I looked out the window and saw it lying in the street.”
Harold said at least one person was trapped in a car, and he saw onlookers trying to get the person out. Harold said he also saw a person lying motionless on the street.
Reuters reported that Kuvanya Pila, 21, was at Blow Bar, a nearby beauty salon, with her mother and sister, getting their hair done for Pila’s wedding at City Hall. She said, referring to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that destroyed the World Trade Center,
“When it dropped we could hear the (place) shake. It was just scary, cause things have been scary since 9/11,”
The New York Post reported that the man who was killed had been standing on the street when the crane fell on him, a police source said. The two injured people were rushed to Bellevue Hospital. Hundreds of firefighters and other emergency responders rushed to the scene after the crane fell.
The crane was marked with a logo for Bay Crane, the company involved in a collapse in Midtown last year that injured 10 people. The company’s crane had been hoisting an air conditioner.
It was not clear what type of work the crane was doing. A construction worker, who declined to be identified, said the crane was being used to lift machinery to the roof of 60 Hudson Street, which houses offices for numerous telecommunications companies and is considered an important Internet hub in the United States.
In May, a cable on a construction crane also owned by Bay Crane snapped at a high-rise office building in midtown Manhattan as it was lifting an air conditioning unit to the top of the structure. The unit plunged nearly 30 stories, injuring ten people, including two construction workers.
Ed Mullins, the president of the NYPD’s Sergeants Benevolent Association whose office is near the scene of the collapse, said the crane stood 15 to 18 stories high. It was not immediately clear whether the strong winds played a role in the collapse.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who arrived on the scene around 10 a.m., said an investigation was underway.
Church Street was blocked off for at least three blocks and nearby buildings were evacuated. Officers told people arriving for work that they should go home.