One person was killed and three others injured when a 565-foot crane collapsed during Friday morning’s rush hour in snowy Lower Manhattan, in an incident which was captured by amateur video footage.
The lone fatality was a man sitting in a parked car. Police identified him as David Wichs, 38, a Manhattan resident.
The three injuries — two considered serious but not life-threatening — occurred when pedestrians were hurt by falling debris, Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters.
The crawler crane was being lowered into a secure position, with construction workers keeping pedestrians and traffic away from a busy street near New York Law School, when it hurtled to the ground, de Blasio said.
The crane’s manufacturer required that it be secured when winds reached 25 mph, the mayor said.
“You can see how powerful the damage was, but you can also see that it was something of a miracle there were not more casualties, as a precaution, the city has immediately ordered the 376 crawler and 53 tower cranes in operation in New York be secured.”
Building inspectors had been at the site of the collapse a day earlier after granting approval for the crane operator to add an extension, bringing the crane to 565 feet, according to de Blasio. The work was found to be in “full compliance.”
The impact of the hulking crane may have damaged underground gas mains, and utility inspectors were checking for gas leaks, officials said. A leaking water main was shut down.
“The fact is this is a very, very sad incident. We lost a life,” de Blasio said. “Thank God it was not worse.”
City officials said there were no complaints or violations at the construction site.