Video: Crane Collapses, Falls on Busy NYC Streets During Building Fire, Nearly a Dozen Injured

A construction crane caught fire and partially collapsed Wednesday in midtown Manhattan, sending tons of concrete and steel crashing 45 stories to the street below. Two firefighters and nine others sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the incident, WCBS-TV reported. The fire started around 7:30 a.m. in the neighborhood known as Hell’s Kitchen, on 10th Avenue between West 41st and 42nd streets, according to the news outlet. The station interviewed First Deputy Commissioner Joseph W. Pfeifer, who described the precarious situation that quickly developed. “There’s a beam that goes out, and that’s carrying the weight of concrete. And that weight of 16 tons is attached by a cable. As the fire heats the cable, the cable weakens to a point where it loses its strength, and that’s when the collapse occurred,” he said.
The arm of the crane swung like a pendulum as it gave way, smashing into a building across the street before giving way completely and plummeting down to the street. Some early morning passers-by captured the drama on their cellphones. The crane operator tried at first to extinguish the fire, but finally had to give up and flee, officials said. More than 200 firefighters responded to the blaze, according to the New York Post. News footage showed some of them fighting the fire with hoses from adjacent tall buildings. “As you can see from the debris on the street, this could have been much worse,” Mayor Eric Adams. WABC-TV‘s Janice Yu said she spoke with witnesses who said two workers ran out into the street and stopped traffic just before the crane fell, likely averting serious injuries or deaths. WABC reported the crane was owned by the New York Crane & Equipment Corp. The station said that “[t]he Queens-based company has been involved in other crane problems in recent years, leading to criminal charges and new safety measures around New York City’s crane operations.” The company did not provide a comment on the incident. A building commissioner told WCBS they would be examining the “structural integrity” of the building under construction, as well as the building that was hit by the swinging crane arm. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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