A massive crane collapse in Lower Manhattan on Feb. 5 killed a Wall Street worker and injured three other people, according to local news sources. New York residents understand the danger posed by crane accidents and other construction-related mishaps, both for those working on the job site and those in proximity to it. Unfortunately, the events of Feb. 5 have brought that danger into stark relief.
According to the accident report, workers were attempting to lower the crane’s boom, which had been extended to over 500 feet, in the face of gusting winds. Pedestrians and road traffic were being redirected to other streets at the time of the crash, which likely saved many more lives. At this time, it is not clear what caused the crane to collapse the way it did.
Bystanders described the damage done by the falling crane as “devastating.” Cars were crushed, and one man was killed in the crash. Three other people were hurt, two seriously, and were taken to local hospitals. All other mobile cranes registered to the city were ordered into secure positions, and an investigation is now underway to determine the cause of the tragic accident.
Crane accidents, like any construction accident, can often be traced to human or mechanical error. In this case, New York authorities will continue to investigate, alongside organizations like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, to determine how and why this crane came down. If it turns out the accident was avoidable or as a result of correctable errors, the family of the deceased man may be in a position to file lawsuits against the company responsible for the job site, the manufacturer and owner of the crane, and any other party deemed culpable for the accident.
Source: CBS News, “Massive crane collapses in NYC; 1 dead“, Feb. 5, 2016