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

  • 4 bodies found in Everest base camp tent

    World News CBC News
    Almost every year, the reports filter down from the highest mountain in the world, and talk among the climbing teams at Everest Base Camp turns to the latest person to die. On Everest, tragedy is almost normal. Source
  • Dog found beaten, buried alive in Quebec

    Canada News CTV News
    WARNING: Some readers may find details in the following story to be distressing A dog is in critical condition after it was found beaten, strangled, wrapped in a sheet and buried alive in a field east of Montreal. Source
  • Migrant boat accident kills dozens between Libya and Italy

    World News CBC News
    At least 34 migrants, most of them toddlers, drowned on Wednesday, as coastguard boats and other vessels tried to save hundreds of others packed into boats off the coast of Libya, rescuers said. One of a group of boats listed suddenly, sending about 200 people tumbling into the Mediterranean, Italian Coast Guard commander Cosimo Nicastro told Reuters. Source
  • Video: Students film Atlanta-area teachers exchanging punches in middle school classroom

    World News Toronto Sun
    Classroom fights are posted on social media regularly but rarely are adult educators the ones fighting. A teacher and classroom paraprofessional were captured on camera in a fistfight inside a science class at Stone Mountain Middle School in Tucker, Ga. Source
  • U.K. steps up military patrols; probes attacker's Libya ties

    World News CTV News
    MANCHESTER, England -- British police and intelligence agencies worked Wednesday to piece together the allegiances of the Manchester suicide bomber and foil any new potential threats, as the country's law-and-order chief said it's "likely" he did not act alone. Source
  • Manchester victims' names beginning to surface [Photos] [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    British authorities say an 8-year-old girl, Saffie Roussos, was among the 22 who died in the Manchester bombing. Medical officials say 12 children under the age of 16 were among those injured in the suicide bombing attack at a pop concert in Manchester, England. Source
  • 'I'm very touched': Maine woman to be reunited with long-lost ring found in N.S.

    Canada News CTV News
    In what is sure to be a touching high school reunion of sorts, a woman from Maine will soon have her long-lost graduating class ring in hand, thanks to the help of one determined gas station attendant from Nova Scotia. Source
  • Playmate Dani Mathers, who shot nude photo of unwitting 71-year-old woman, due in court [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — A Playboy centerfold who ignited a backlash of criticism when she secretly snapped a photo of a naked 71-year-old woman in a locker room and posted it online mocking the woman’s body is expected to appear in court Wednesday to resolve a criminal charge. Source
  • Authorities: Girl, 2, dead after man used 'wrestling moves'

    World News CTV News
    ST. LOUIS -- A 2-year-old Missouri girl died after her mom's boyfriend injured the toddler using "wrestling moves" that included picking her up and slamming her on the ground, authorities said Tuesday. Richard Gamache Jr. Source
  • RCMP charge Alberta woman with threatening Sophie Gregoire Trudeau

    Canada News CTV News
    LETHBRIDGE, Alta. - Police have charged a woman in southern Alberta with making threats against the prime minister's wife and the Canadian government on social media. RCMP say investigators were able to trace the social media account and link it to an address in Lethbridge. Source