NEW YORK CITY-A crane collapsed just after 8:00 a.m. at a construction site near 91st Street and First Avenue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, according to witnesses and officials. One person has died from the incident, according to local news reports.
The collapse occurred two months after a tower crane collapsed on 51st Street between Second and First avenues, killing seven people. The New York Fire Department said that it has pulled people from the wreckage, but their conditions were not immediately known.
According to published reports, the building under construction at the site is the Azure, a 245,000-sf building being constructed at 333 East 91st St. between First and Second avenues by the DeMatteis Organizations and the Mattone Group.
A resident at 1760 2nd Ave., an apartment building which overlooks the construction site, saw the collapse a “few minutes after eight o’clock.” The resident says the “top piece” fell off, referring to the pivoting boom arm which sits atop the crane. The arm crashed into the street below at the corner of 91st Street and 1st Avenue, caving in part of the northeast corner of the Electra, an apartment building at 354 E. 91st St.
The boom of the crane is man-operated from a cabin at the joint of the arm. The resident believes the operator was still in the crane, operating the turret, when it fell “because the guys start at 7:30.” There was no comment to Globest.com inquiries about the condition of the operator.
A resident at the 23-story Electra tells GlobeSt.com that the crane collapse mostly damaged the top floor, where the administration office is. He explained that there was some flooding on the 4th floor, and the crane tore off a 19th floor balcony. “Last week, Thursday I believe, there was a 40-foot extension added to the crane. They wouldn’t let us leave the building,” he explains. “As of now, we are told we are not allowed back in the building.”
The cause of today’s crane collapse has yet to be determined, but clearly, construction safety is still a concern. In April, the city’s buildings commissioner, Patricia Lancaster, was forced out of her job and an extensive review of the city’s cranes was conducted in the aftermath of that March accident.
This article had additional reporting by GlobeSt.com managing editor Ryan Clark.
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