Huge construction crane collapses in Manhattan, one killed

A construction crane collapsed in lower Manhattan during a swirling snowstorm on Friday, killing one person, injuring three others and crushing cars parked in the street.

Hundreds of emergency workers responded after the 565-foot-tall crane toppled at about 8:30 a.m. EST and flipped upside down, leaving the metal boom stretched along nearly two city blocks.

At the time, workers were lowering the crane to secure it as winds approached 25 miles per hour, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference.

It was not yet known if wind played a role in the collapse. An investigation was underway and the crane operator was being interviewed, de Blasio said.

Manhattan resident David Wichs, 38, was killed in the collapse, police said. Three others had non-life-threatening injuries, including two with head lacerations, officials said.

De Blasio said pedestrians has been cleared from the street before workers began lowering the crane, averting a potentially greater calamity during the morning rush to work. “Thank God it was not worse,” he said.

The crane was owned by Bay Crane, based in the New York City borough of Queens, and operated by Queens-based GTI, or Galasso Trucking. A person who answered the phone at Bay Crane declined to comment. A Galasso representative could not be reached.

The crane had been used since Jan. 30 at 60 Hudson Street, a landmark once known as the Western Union building. Workers were replacing generators and air conditioning equipment on the roof, officials said. The building is a major hub for telecommunications companies.

#Reuters

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