A construction crane working on a high-rise building on the West Side of Manhattan caught fire and collapsed on Wednesday, striking an adjacent building as it came crashing down on the street below.
The collapse was captured in a dramatic video taken by an onlooker a few blocks away. The footage shows the crane twist and sway before falling as pedestrians are seen running for cover.
“Just watched a crane fall and pummel a building on the other side of the block!” Jimmy Farring wrote in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
— Jimmy 💃🏻 (@jimmy_farring) July 26, 2023
Six people, including two firefighters, sustained minor injuries.
“This could have been a lot worse,” FDNY Deputy Commissioner Joseph Pfeifer told reporters.
Pfeifer said more than 200 firefighters and emergency personnel responded to the scene of the five-alarm fire, which began at approximately 7:30 a.m. at the construction site on 10th Avenue and 41st Street, near Times Square.
“We are extremely fortunate that we weren't during a busy time of the day," New York Mayor Eric Adams said, adding that the incident is under investigation.
According to fire officials, the crane was carrying 16 tons of concrete when it caught fire 45 stories above the ground. The crane operator tried to extinguish the flames but had to evacuate as smoke filled its cabin.
James Oddo, the city’s building commissioner, said that all permits filed for the 54-story building and crane operation had been approved, and there is no preliminary indication that there were any outstanding violations.
Read more on Yahoo News:
Crane collapses in New York City are relatively rare, but they do happen.
In February 2016, a crane collapsed in lower Manhattan in high winds and falling snow, killing a pedestrian and injuring three others.
There are actually few high-rise cranes operating in Manhattan. According to a recent survey by Rider Levett Bucknall’s Crane Index, there are just 10 commercial cranes currently in operation — down from 14 last fall.