Burning Crane Crashes into New York Skyscraper Causing Injuries

By Thomas P. Giuffra

At least six people were injured in a construction site accident when a burning crane crashed into a skyscraper in midtown Manhattan. The crane was located at a construction site on a 40-story building at 10th Avenue and West 41st Street in Manhattan.

The crane had been holding 16 tons of concrete before it caught fire, causing the concrete and crane debris to crash into a nearby skyscraper and fall to the street below, the FDNY’s Deputy Comissioner said in a press conference at the scene this morning.

The NY Post is reporting that the fire may have been caused by a hydraulic fluid leak in the machine’s engine compartment.

Two sources told The Post the working theory among investigators is that hydraulic fluid leaked from the engine compartment onto a heated metal plate, igniting the fire on the crane’s machine deck.

The crane, stationed 45 stories high at 10th Ave. between West 41st and West 42nd streets in Hell’s Kitchen, caught fire around 7:30 a.m. as workers moved a 16-ton load of concrete, officials said.

The machine’s 180-foot-long boom then collapsed, striking a building across the street at 555 10th Ave. before crashing to the street below, dramatic footage showed.

The crane involved in the accident was owned and operated by New York Crane and Equipment Corporation which has faced scrutiny before for construction accidents including a deadly mishap in 2008.

CBS New York has learned that same company owned a crane that collapsed in 2008, killing two construction workers near 91st Street and First Avenue.  

The company and its late owner James Lomma faced a wrongful death lawsuit, and Lomma was charged with manslaughter then acquitted.

Prosecutors had argued the company did not properly repair damage to the crane from two years before that collapse.

A Manhattan jury eventually decided the families of the two men who died should be awarded money and the amount decided on was $48 million.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a construction site accident, please contact us for a free initial evaluation.

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