High winds are to blame for a deadly crane collapse in New York City Friday morning. According to Mayor Bill de Blasio, workers were attempting to secure the crane at the time of the incident. Shortly before 8:30 am, the massive piece of construction equipment collapsed, crashing into several parked cars and slamming into buildings before landing on Worth Street. The 565-foot crane stretched two blocks from Hudson to Church Street, a usually bustling area of Lower Manhattan. The collapse left one person dead and three people injured. Contact a Boston Injury Lawyer Today.
Police identified the fatally-wounded victim as 38-year-old David Wichs of the Upper West SIde. Wichs was in a parked car when the crane collapsed on top of it. There were also three injuries as a result of the accident; two serious and one minor. A 73-year-old man and a 45-year-old woman were both taken to area hospitals with head wounds from falling debris. Their injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.
It’s a Miracle That More People Were Not Harmed
Considering that the accident occurred during the normally busy morning commute, it is incredible that more people were not seriously injured. Mayor de Blasio attributes this good fortune to the efforts of workers on the ground who were keeping people away from the area while other workers were securing the crane. “This is a very, very sad incident — we’ve lost a life,” said Mr. de Blasio, adding that, “It was something of a miracle there wasn’t more impact.”
The crane had just been inspected by the city’s Buildings Department on Thursday. The inspection was conducted as part of the process to approve an extension of its current length. According to Mr. de Blasio, when winds reached 20 miles per hour on Friday morning, crews began to clear the streets and secure the machinery. The crawler crane, which was being used to replace air-conditioning units on top of the former Western Union building, is supposed to be secured in winds of 25 mph or above. In response to the accident, the city has ordered the securing of an additional 376 crawler cranes and 43 tower cranes.
Following the collapse, emergency responders searched cars for people who could be trapped and gas lines for leaks. Several nearby leaks were identified, however, the levels do not appear to be dangerous. As a precaution, gas in the immediate area has been turned off and the situation is being closely monitored. Continue reading