Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

NEW YORK CITY-One person remains missing more than a day after a construction crane crashed down in Manhattan’s East Side Saturday, at East 51st St. and Second Ave., killing six construction workers, injuring dozens and damaging six buildings. Officials were investigating whether human or mechanical error led to the construction-site accident. The cleanup is expected to take several days.

Construction workers Brad Cohen, Aaron Stephens, Anthony Mazza, and Wayne Bleinder were killed in the accident. Police also recently revealed that two construction workers at the site, but officials have no yet publicly identified the bodies.

In a press conference, Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the collapse one of the worst construction accidents in the city’s history. He acknowledged the danger of high-rise construction, but said residents near cranes were generally safe, citing that “this is a rare occurrence.”

City officials say the broken crane passed inspection by the Buildings Department on Friday, however the Saturday event raised concerns about city inspections. In response to the accident, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer is calling on the city to create a new inspection strategy to tighten its oversight of construction projects. “In every walk of life, in business or in government, when a strategy isn’t working, it has to be changed,” said Stringer during a press conference Sunday afternoon. “It’s clear that the current Buildings Department construction safety oversight protocol is not working, and we can’t keep going on like this. Important as new construction is to our city’s economy and its future, residents and workers cannot continue to be put in harm’s way.”

GlobeSt.com calls to the Buildings Department regarding a response to Stringer’s comments were unreturned by deadline. Queries to the New York Building Congress were also unreturned by deadline. The city had answered 38 complaints and issued more than a dozen violations in the past 27 months to the construction site where a 43-story high-rise condominium was going up. None of the violations was related to the crane, Mayor Bloomberg said at the press conference.

On Sunday, the Reliance Construction Group, the project’s contractor, released a statement expressing sympathy to the families of the dead and injured and said that it has already launched its own internal investigation to “understand exactly what caused this tragedy and we believe it is prudent not to comment further at this time.”

The property’s owner, East 51st St. Development Co., says in a prepared statement that “there are no words to describe the level of devastation we feel today as a result of this tragic event. Our hearts and prayers are with the families of those who died in this horrible accident. We are also praying for a full recovery for the individuals who have been injured today. Our first priority is to support the police and fire rescue operation to ensure that all victims are accounted for and the site is rendered safe as quickly as possible.”

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 3 free articles* across the ALM subscription network every 30 days
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.