gattogrosso212 at flickr:
BREAKING: East Midtown Crane Collapses Kills 4, Injures Many, Others Missing
Crane Collapses, Kills at Least 2, Devastates Manhattan Block
NEW YORK (1010 WINS/AP) -- A giant crane toppled over at a construction site and smashed into a block of residential buildings Saturday, creating a horrifying scene of destruction on Manhattan's East Side.
The big, white crane, which looked to be at least 15 stories tall, demolished parts of several buildings as it fell. At least one small, brick apartment building appeared to have been completely pulverized by the falling wreckage.
Fire Department officials said at least two people were dead.
The accident happened on 51st Street near 2nd Avenue at about 2:20 p.m. People in the area reported hearing a terrible roar as the structure detached from a large building under construction.
Ben Galati, a 54-year-old doorman a high-rise apartment building across the street, said he was in the basement when it happened, and ran for his life when he heard the noise.
``I heard a rumble outside. I said, 'Let's get out of here! And then the crane came down. A split second later, I heard an explosion,'' he said.
The crane split into pieces as it fell. Part of it came to rest against an apartment tower, buckling its facade and smashing it upper floors. That building and others in the area were evacuated. Another piece of the crane hit other buildings on the block, ripping away walls and ceilings and crushing a small building.
According to the Department of Buildings website, there have been 39 complaints and 23 violations against this construction site in the past.
Witnesses were reporting a strong smell of gas in the area.
Bill Reilly, a retired UPI reporter, said he was in his apartment a block away when it happened.
``First I heard a rumble, and it increased, and then it increased,'' Reilly said. ``It continued building in strength until there was a final vroom! It shook the six story brick building that I live in.''
Police blocked traffic in the area.
I think this is more of a freak accident than say what happened at Trump SoHo. Sad nevertheless.
The press makes a big deal about the 13 violations, as if it's unusual. The number is actually quite low. The violations for the Bloomberg Tower and Time Warner Center number in the hundreds.
Hopefully no one else is trapped , the damaged buildings gets fixed, and they're able to commence construction again soon.
Great rendering though!
Last edited by hey19932; March 16th, 2008 at 03:07 AM.
Believe it or not, I actually thought of macreator when I heard about this unfortunate accident since I know he lived in the area.
Glad you're unaffected. Let's hope nobody else is trapped or died besides the four so far.
I saw only the NYT picked up this little tidbit. Think it is a really sad accident and hope that it was indeed nothing more that a freak accident. Cantor Pecorella is going to have a lot of fun marketing this condo.
With these giant cranes everywhere people are going to be afraid of walking around NYC and god knows how many folks in the East 50's are going to start having 911 flashbacks yet again.
Ironic thread title. Horrible accident, what a shame.
I went over there this afternoon. It looks like they're lining up two more cranes to remove the original one.
At first the loud noises sounded like the noise trucks sometimes make on First Avenue when they go over a street plate or hit a pothole, but their loudness made me head into my living room where I could see the crane propped up against the apartment house to the south. It looked like an event out of a movie.
What was most disturbing was when I realized that the actual "crane", cab section was nowhere to be found. I then realized that it must have flown off when the bottom half hit the apartment house. It turns out that the top half was what was so destructive in this disaster and destroyed that brownstone on 50th.
Soon after, I took my telescope out and was able to see firefighters in the apartments on the topmost floor of the damaged apartment building. A roof section was visible that had caved in on the apartment below. It looked to me like the room that was destroyed was a bathroom as I could make out a porcelain toilet bowl in the debris and maybe a shower curtain rod. If someone had been sitting in there, they would have surely been killed.
Things could have been so much worse, it was lucky that this happened on a sunny weekend day when people were out and about, or out of town.
Has construction resumed at this site?
Probably not. Not so much because of the accident, but because the building configuration seems to be out of spec with the latest reading of the zoning tea leaves.
No, it's because of the accident.
The zoning issue was sensationalized in the press to imply that the building was incorrectly permitted because of size or height, when the reality is that the building was incorrectly permitted because of an incorrect zoning lot merger.
The owner has purchased the adjacent lot anyways, which can bring the site into compliance.