Tappan Zee Bridge Accident: Crane Collapse Injures Four In New York [UPDATE]

Tuesday’s crane collapse at the Tappan Zee Bridge near New York City is but the latest in a string of mishaps that have happened here in recent years, causing serious but non-life-threatening injuries today in at least three drivers and one construction worker, prompting mandatory lane closures in all directions, reported Fox News.

Check out video from the crane collapse at Tappan Zee Bridge near New York City here.

As emergency crews rushed to the scene, helicopter video shows the collapsed crane blocking all six lanes of traffic on the Tappan Zee Bridge, which is located just north of New York City and spans both Rockland and Westchester counties.

Workers have been building the new Tappan Zee Bridge to replace an outdated roadway over the Hudson River, and according to the Rockland County executive office it’s still not clear what caused the crane collapse Tuesday. Fortunately, no vehicles appear to be pinned under the crane, and no additional injuries have been reported due to the collapse at this time.

Still, it’s tough to ignore that the Tappan Zee Bridge has been plagued by accidents and odd mishaps for some time. Most recently, a 90-foot tugboat sank after it collided with a construction barge near the bridge construction site in March, killing three crew members.

In a separate report from the Inquisitr that was written before the recent construction began, the Tappan Zee Bridge Dangler Michael Davitt even tied a rope to himself and hung suspended from the bridge in an attempt to draw attention to political corruption. In addition, the New York State Thruway Authority, which is the entity in charge of the new Tappan Zee Bridge construction project, was hit by scandal last year, as reported by the Inquisitr.

“Two top executives submitted their resignations before a scathing investigative report on the agency’s operations could be released.”

Frivolous spending and passing a budget to institute a toll hike were among the findings that led to the scandal.

In addition to the recent crane collapse and corruption allegations, other recent accidents and mishaps involving the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York include a serious accident involving a Bronx motorcyclist who crashed into a van in March 2016, as well as a tractor trailer that rolled over in mid-May, causing hours of lane closures and minor injuries. See the video below.

Despite setbacks associated with today’s crane collapse, the new Tappan Zee Bridge is set to open in 2018 and will replace the current crossing, reported the New York Daily News. South Nyack-Grand View Police Chief Brent Newbury also told the newspaper that he fully expects to see a “traffic nightmare,” which seems to be confirmed by ongoing aerial footage that shows the crane collapse is still blocking all lanes, with miles of cars and trucks backed up at a complete standstill.

“The seven-land, 3-mile cantilever bridge – the longest in New York State – opened to traffic in 1955.”

It was originally built for around $81 million and was created to last for around 50 years. After more than a decade of heated debate, construction began on the new Tappan Zee Bridge in April 2013. The new eight-lane bridge is designed to last around 100 years and is located just a few yards from the original crossing. About 138,000 cars cross the Tappan Zee Bridge daily.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo called the crane collapse Tuesday “nothing short of a miracle” since only minor injuries resulted from the accident, reported Newsday. Four people, including a construction worker and three civilians in vehicles were confirmed to have suffered minor injuries, despite earlier reports that five people were hurt during the accident.

“Given the accident and given what it could have been, I’m going to say a special prayer,” Cuomo said at a news conference. “We were very, very lucky this is the consequence of what could have been a really, really terrible tragedy today.”

[Image via Twitter]