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March 28th, 2010, 03:08 PM
from Curbed:
Five FiDI Buildings Evacuated After Frightening Crane Mishap

[Photo via Gothamist (http://gothamist.com/2010/03/27/crane_collapse_in_lower_manhattan.php).]
There were tense nerves but no injuries last night when the boom of a 250-foot-tall crane tipped and fell onto the top floors of the 25-story office building at 80 Maiden Lane and dangled over the streets. The crane, 1010 WINS reports (http://www.1010wins.com/FDNY--Crane-Strikes-Side-of-Building-on-Maiden-Lan/6672275), "had been authorized to lift mechanical equipment, such as large cooling units, to the roof of the building that was struck," but workers had already left for the day when the accident happened. A chunk of 80 Maiden Lane's facade was damaged. The crane was righted and removed overnight, and NotifyNYC (http://twitter.com/NotifyNYC/status/11192519982) says residents were evacuated from 2 Gold Street and 80, 83, 90 and 100 Maiden Lane. They were allowed to return home this morning.
Workers Right Tilted Crane that Hit New York City High-Rise (http://www.1010wins.com/FDNY--Crane-Strikes-Side-of-Building-on-Maiden-Lan/6672275) [1010 WINS]
Crane Collapses, Now Leaning On Lower Manhattan Building (http://gothamist.com/2010/03/27/crane_collapse_in_lower_manhattan.php) [Gothamist]

March 28th, 2010, 03:52 PM
Crews Secure Fallen Crane In Lower Manhattan

NY1 (Video at Link) (http://www.ny1.com/1-all-boroughs-news-content/top_stories/115981/crews-secure-fallen-crane-in-lower-manhattan)
By: Tara Lynn Wagner
March 28, 2010 - 2:25 PM

The crane that tilted and struck a 25-story building in Lower Manhattan is being taken apart.
Crews righted the crane which fell over around 7 p.m. Saturday, striking the 23rd floor of 80 Maiden Lane.

Police say part of the building's facade broke off and some debris crashed to the ground.

Fire officials say no injuries were reported.

Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the crane to fall over.

Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri says the crane had been authorized to install mechanical equipment at 80 Maiden Lane. He says it's unclear what the crane was doing at the time it fell, since workers had likely gone home for the day.

NY1 has reached out to Bay Crane, which owns the crane rig, but the company had no comment.

The building the crane struck and the two next to it were evacuated as a precaution, and another building was partially evacuated.

While the vacate order has been lifted, there are still street closures in the area.

Maiden Lane is closed between Broadway and Water Street. Pearl Street is also closed between Fletcher Street and Wall Street.

This latest incident comes on the heels of a recent spate of problems involving construction cranes.

Last week, the city's former chief crane inspector pleaded guilty to bribery charges.

James Delayo is accused of taking more than $10,000 in bribes from Nu-Way Crane Service for about eight years in exchange for falsely reporting he conducted inspections.

In May 2008, two construction workers were killed when a crane came crashing down on the Upper East Side.

That collapse came just two months after another one that killed seven people in Midtown.

March 28th, 2010, 04:55 PM
Residents return after crane crash

NY POST (http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/listing_crane_lowered_MtzqQIiIH2rrDjYNoIzHhL)
Last Updated: 3:11 PM, March 28, 2010

Residents near a Financial District building that was hit by a crane returned to their homes today, the day after the accident showered debris on the ground and forced them out.

Mechanics and engineers lowered and dismantled the crane, which had hit a 25-story building near Wall Street on Saturday evening. Inspectors were on the scene to determine what caused the crane to tilt and smack the lower Manhattan building, Department of Buildings spokesman Tony Sclafani said.

The crane had been brought to the area on Saturday to lift mechanical equipment to the roof of the building, Sclafani said. A representative of the company that owns the crane, Bay Crane, declined to comment when contacted by The Associated Press.

No injuries were reported Saturday after the crane hit a ledge near the top of the mixed-use building on Maiden Lane, three blocks from Wall Street, the Fire Department of New York said. Part of the building's facade broke off and fell into the street, police Lt. John Grimpel said.

Maiden Lane runs east to west, parallel to Wall Street, from near the South Street Seaport to lower Broadway near the World Trade Center site.

The crane was in a plaza about half a block from the struck building. The base of the crane was on the other side of the street from the building, and the crane was leaning diagonally across the street onto the building.

[Note: That plaza is the Louise Nevelson Plaza (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19682&), nearly-complete after a major renovation]

A neighboring building's porter, Jose Hernandez, said he heard a crashing sound around 7 p.m. Saturday.

"When the crane fell, it went 'Boom!' and rocks fell," he said.

Area resident Michael Britto said he was leaving his building with a friend Saturday night when police told them to get out of the area because the crane was falling.

"The crane was swaying," he said.

New York has been blighted by crane accidents the last few years. On Tuesday, the city's former chief crane inspector admitted taking more than $10,000 in payoffs to fake inspection and crane operator licensing exam results over nearly a decade.

The inspector, James Delayo, was arrested days after the second of two huge cranes collapsed, killing nine people, in 2008. The charges against him weren't tied to the collapses, but authorities portrayed the case as one in a series to go after builders and inspectors accused of shortchanging safety for profit.

The Department of Buildings has said that it has increased training requirements for crane operators and inspectors and taken other safety steps since the collapses.

Copyright 2010 NYP Holdings, Inc.

March 28th, 2010, 08:58 PM
It will be interesting to see if the 2 Gold Street resident's account of the crane being installed will prove to be significant.

Crane Falls Against Financial District Building




A crane tipped and fell against a commercial building in Lower Manhattan on Saturday evening. There were no injuries, the police said, but four buildings and part of a fifth were evacuated and traffic was rerouted.

No one was operating the crane when it fell about 7:30, the police said, and some cement fell off the building, at 80 Maiden Lane. The Fire Department sent numerous trucks to the scene, and firefighters were working to secure and remove the crane.

“We tried building up the pressure in the crane to no avail,” said Deputy Assistant Chief Robert Boyle, of the Fire Department. “We’re now at a standstill.”

Officials closed Maiden Lane from Water Street to Broadway and Pearl Street from Fletcher Street to Wall Street, and four buildings were evacuated, including 100 Maiden Lane, a residential building, as well as 2 Gold Street from the 25th floor down.

The base of the crane was in Louise Nevelson Plaza, a triangular slice of a sculpture garden across the street from 80 Maiden Lane.

“The crane had authorization to move mechanical equipment on to the top of 80 Maiden Lane,” Robert LiMandri, the buildings commissioner, said at a news conference. About 7:30, he said, “the boom drifted.”

“There’s minor damage to the parapet wall of the topmost facade of the building,” he said.

David Robertson, who lives nearby at 10 Liberty Street, said he was alerted to the crane’s fall by a noise that sounded like metal on metal. “You could’ve heard it half a mile away,” he said.

Mr. LiMandri said it was too early to tell if there was any negligence or wrongdoing. “We are certainly going to pull this crane out of service and we’re gong to do a full investigation,” he said.

Dave Lawrence, 26, who lives at 2 Gold Street, said he and his companion watched the crane being installed. “As it went up it was tilting, skewed,” he said. “As the crane got higher it was bad. We figured, they’re engineers, they must have it figured out.”

The couple left for the day, then returned to hear sirens. “We said, ‘I bet that’s that crane,’ ” Mr. Lawrence said.

The crane, which is owned by Bay Crane, looked precarious as it leaned on the corner of the building. Curious neighbors came out to watch — one woman even brought a bowl of pretzels.

Susan Stevens, who lives at 100 John Street, said she was listening to the radio when she heard sirens. “I’d be nervous now if there was a crane near my building,” she said.

Mohammed Bacchus, a security guard at 80 Maiden Lane, said he saw the crane begin to lean, then gradually fall toward the building. “It took about half an hour,” he said. “Then it just gently grazed the building.”

While the latest episode appeared to have caused minimal damage, it jarred a city that experienced two fatal crane collapses over a two-month period, the first of which occurred almost exactly two years ago. In mid-March 2008, seven people were killed when a crane slammed into residential buildings on East 51st Street, destroying a town house. And two construction workers were killed in May 2008, when a crane fell at a construction site on East 91st Street.

On March 8, James F. Lomma, the owner of the New York Crane and Equipment Corporation, pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges stemming from the latter collapse.

Mr. LiMandri said the crane that fell Saturday was a mobile one used for relatively small jobs, and it had been used during the day, lifting mechanical equipment and building supplies.

As for the effort to remove the crane, he said, “We’re going to work all night.”


March 28th, 2010, 09:06 PM
Operator of crane that collapsed in Manhattan has license taken away by City Buildings Dept.

By Daniel Edward Rosen

March 28th 2010


The city Buildings Department on Sunday yanked the license of the operator of a 25-story monster crane that collapsed in Manhattan's Financial District.

Crane operator Christopher Cosban "failed to leave the crane in the safest position possible at the end of the work day," contributing to its Saturday night collapse, Buildings Department spokesman Tony Sclafani said.

Cosban failed to lower the hydraulically operated boom of the mobile crane as low as he should have, creating a serious hazard, sources familiar with the probe said.

The giant boom toppled into the 23rd floor 80 Maiden Lane - home of the city Department of Investigation - at 7:10 p.m. Saturday after workers had gone home.

A chunk of the building's facade was knocked to the sidewalk, but miraculously no one was injured.

Residents of five neighboring buildings evacuated after the accident were allowed back home at 8:45 a.m. Sunday, after the damage was determined to be minor and the building deemed structurally sound, Sclafani said.

Investigators hauled the 360,000-pound crane onto a truck and removed it for investigation.

During the day Saturday, the 250-foot crane was hoisting air conditioning equipment to the top of the building, but it was not in operation when it crashed.

Cosban's negligence contributed to the mishap but may not have been the only cause, Sclafani said. Buildings Department investigators also were probing possible mechanical failure.

The crash also is under investigation by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

"We are looking at its mechanical operation, how it was set up and how it was operated," OSHA spokesman Ted Fitzgerald said.

The crane is owned by Bay Crane Services of Long Island City, Queens, and was leased by Skylift Master Riggers of Orient, L.I.

The disaster forced Julia Tourigny, a doctor visiting from Montreal, to spend the night at her friend's nearby law office instead of his apartment in 100 Maiden Lane.

"We had a sofa in the lounge, and we slept on that for two hours," said Tourigny, 25. "Last night was not fun, but it's a good story to tell."

John Ellie was watching TV with his girlfriend in his apartment at 2 Gold St. when he heard "loud metal clangs."

"I was expecting more of a 'boom,' " said Ellie, 24, who works in finance.

"We ran to the window and looked out and saw the crane leaning against the building."

Crys Rappoli and Adam Raiden, who live in 100 Maiden Lane, said building officials banged on their door and told them to leave immediately.

"We put our cats in a bag and took off," Raiden said, saying they ended up in a hotel.

Amanda Meyer returned home late after burning the midnight oil on a sales presentation in her office to find "all the commotion."

"I asked [a Buildings Department official] what am I supposed to do? He said 'Why don't you find a bar?' " said Meyer, 22.

She went to stay with a friend instead.

Some residents were put up in a temporary shelter at the nearby Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers.

Raiden, 29, who works in finance, said he felt "safer" now that the crane was removed. "They probably won't make the same mistake twice in the same spot," he said.

Last week, James Delayo, the city's former chief crane inspector, pleaded guilty to taking more than $10,000 in bribes for about eight years in exchange for falsely reporting he conducted inspections.

In March 2008, seven people were killed in Midtown when a construction crane fell across a street into a four-story town house.

Two months later, two workers were killed when a crane came crashing down on the upper East Side.

Sclafani said the Buildings Department has instituted a range of safety reforms since then.

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/03/28/2010-03-28_operator_of_crane_that_collapsed_in_manhattan_h as_license_taken_away_by_city_bui.html

March 29th, 2010, 08:14 AM

Was it windy that night? Was there ant other reason for it tipping? If there was no wind, that thing should have been able to stay up in any position for as long as you needed it to.

I am thinking there may have been something like a hydraulic failure or some problem with the support (if there was not a failed linkage in the actual truss of the crane/boom itself).

It is also possible that we got a "Tacoma" situation where the wind may not have been particularly strong, but just at the right speed and direction to start a harmonic response in the crane itself. The "sway" that one observer described it may have been just that......

I hope they find the real reason that this thing went over and do not hang the operator as a scapegoat if it really was not his fault.....

March 29th, 2010, 09:12 AM
Seems there was some negligence on the part of the operator ...

Crane operator Christopher Cosban "failed to leave the crane in the safest position possible at the end of the work day," contributing to its Saturday night collapse, Buildings Department spokesman Tony Sclafani said.

Cosban failed to lower the hydraulically operated boom of the mobile crane as low as he should have ...

March 29th, 2010, 10:01 AM
The crane should not have fallen no matter what "position" it was left in Loft.

Are we saying that it would have been OK if the guy was in it when it fell over, because he would not have "left" it that way?

There is just something lacking in the semantics used to describe the situation. The only way that thing would have fallen over, no matter what position it was in, is if it was not assembled correctly, we had some extraordinary weather event, or if the base support was not extended/shored properly. I am wondering what combo made this happen.

(BTW, you blame an operator for an accident, people will not worry as much about the OTHER cranes Bay Crane has in operation. You say that something was wrong with its assembly or support, every one would be called for inspection. It is a simple matter of Cash and Culpability).