Cause of deadly NYC crane collapse under investigation

NEW YORK -- Officials are working to determine why a huge construction crane that was being lowered during strong winds came crashing down onto a street, killing a pedestrian and crushing a row of parked cars.

See Full Article

Three other people were hurt by debris, two of them seriously.

But city officials said it could have been much worse.

"The fact is this is a very, very sad incident," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "We've lost a life, but if you go out there on the street as I did and see what happened here, thank God it was not worse."

The mayor said a construction crew was directing people away from the area as the crane was being lowered Friday.

The mobile crane's boom landed across an intersection, smashed several car roofs and stretched much of a block after the accident at a historic building in lower Manhattan about 10 blocks north of the World Trade Center.

Robert Harold heard a crashing sound as the rig fell right outside his office window at the Legal Aid Society.

"You could feel the vibration in the building," said Harold, who recounted seeing onlookers trying to rescue someone trapped in a parked car and seeing a person lying motionless on the street. After the collapse, the crane's big cab lay upside-down in the snow with its tank-like tracks pointed at the sky.

Wall Street worker David Wichs was killed in the collapse. He was a mathematical whiz who worked at a computerized trading firm, his family said. Born in Prague, he had immigrated to the United States as a teenager and graduated from Harvard University, said his sister-in-law, Lisa Guttman.

"He really created a life for himself. He literally took every opportunity he could find," she said through tears.

A bystander's video taken through a window high above the ground showed the arm descending and then taking the entire crane to the ground.

Officials have not yet determined why the crane fell.

An employee who answered the phone at the offices of crane owner Bay Crane would say only that an investigation was under way and wouldn't give his name.

City building inspectors had been at the site Thursday because the boom was being extended so it could reach farther onto the roof, de Blasio said.

Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler said inspectors found no problems then with the crane but would investigate further.

Crane safety came under scrutiny in the city after two tower cranes collapsed in Manhattan within two months of each other in 2008, killing a total of nine people. The accidents fueled new safety measures, but a number of crane accidents have occurred in the city since then.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Firefighters battle intense wildfires in Utah, California

    World News CBC News
    Better weather conditions have limited the growth of a wildfire in Utah that has prompted the evacuation of 1,500 people from hundreds of homes and cabins, officials said Sunday night. In Southern California, a wildfire broke out after a car crashed on a freeway and prompted evacuations of nearby homes in the city of Santa Clarita. Source
  • LCBO, workers quiet as midnight strike deadline passes

    Canada News CBC News
    A strike deadline came and went early Monday morning, with no news from either the LCBO or the union representing its employees. Workers have said a strike is possible just before Canada Day. Workers have previously said a strike is possible before Canada Day. Source
  • Tentative contract agreement averts threatened strike by LCBO workers

    Canada News CBC News
    A strike deadline came and went early Monday morning, with no news from either the LCBO or the union representing its employees. Workers have said a strike is possible just before Canada Day. Workers have previously said a strike is possible before Canada Day. Source
  • Intense wildfires in Utah, California force evacuations

    World News CTV News
    SALT LAKE CITY - Better weather conditions have limited the growth of a wildfire in Utah that has prompted the evacuation of 1,500 people from hundreds of homes and cabins, officials said Sunday night. In Southern California, a wildfire broke out after a car crashed on a freeway and prompted evacuations of nearby homes in the city of Santa Clarita. Source
  • No arrests as anti-Islam demonstrators clash with counter-protesters at Calgary city hall

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Despite some heated moments, no arrests were made at an anti-Islam rally at Calgary City Hall Sunday afternoon. The anti-Islam protest was originally scheduled for Saturday but the group organizing it, the World Coalition Against Islam (WCAI), had their permit pulled by the city. Source
  • Fugitive lawyer says he's fled the U.S. using fake passport

    World News CTV News
    LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A fugitive Kentucky lawyer at the centre of a nearly $600 million Social Security fraud case has fled the country using a fake passport and has gotten help from someone overseas with a job to help support himself. Source
  • Pride flag found burned in Taber, Alta.

    Canada News CBC News
    For the second time in as many weeks, a Pride flag flying in Taber, Alta., has been destroyed by vandals. Sometime on Saturday night or early Sunday morning, someone burned the flag being flown in Confederation Park, near the town hall. Source
  • 'Your actual place in society': Minority Montrealers stung by racial divide at Fête nationale parade

    Canada News CBC News
    When Félix Brouillet saw the first float in Saturday's Fête nationale parade in Montreal, he thought he was looking at a scene out of a 1960s movie about ancient Rome. A white woman in a flowing blue dress stood on the float, which was pushed down St. Source
  • Pride group in Taber, Alta. says their flag was burned

    Canada News CTV News
    TABER, Alta. -- Organizers of a southern Alberta town's first Pride event say they'll raise a third rainbow flag after the first was stolen and the one they replaced it with was burned. Jillian Demontigny of the Taber Equality Alliance says her group was notified Sunday that a police officer noticed damage to the flag and scorch marks up the flagpole while driving past Confederation Park. Source
  • Turkish police fire tear gas on banned LGBT Pride March [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    ISTANBUL — As Pride Parade activities across North America have been met by protesters arguing about inclusiveness, other places around the world struggle for the right to even hold marches. Turkish police stopped activists for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex rights from gathering in large numbers for an LGBT pride event in Istanbul on Sunday, but smaller groups made impromptu press statements defying a ban imposed by the governor. Source