Several construction workers were hospitalized after a large crane suddenly collapsed in Long Island City around 2:30pm today. At least three of the victims were seriously injured when the red crane toppled and tumbled across the construction site near the iconic "Pepsi Cola" sign on the East River waterfront. The Fire Department had to extricate three victims from underneath the crane. Two of the victims are being treated at New York Presbyterian Cornell hospital and five were taken to Elmhurst Medical Center for treatment. Further details on their conditions have not been released.
The exact cause of the crane's collapse is not yet known and investigations are underway. The crane had been at the site for four days and was being used in the construction of a new 26-story residential building, which had two stories of framework erected at the time of the collapse. Witnesses say the crane toppled suddenly, ripped through the building framework and shook scaffolds that other workers were standing on nearby.
The crane is reportedly owned by the New York Crane and Equipment Corporation , which also owned a crane that was involved in a fatal collision in 2008. The company's owner, James F. Lomma, was criminally charged in connection with the deaths caused by that incident, and subsequently acquitted of the charges.
The building project is reportedly one of several buildings being developed by TF Cornerstone. At the time of the collapse, concrete-pouring work was being performed by subcontractor Cross County Contracting of Elmsford, NY.
It has been reported that the New York City Department of Buildings approved the crane for use on January 3, 2013.
As investigators work to determine what caused the crane to collapse, the victims and their families suffer the beginning of what will likely be a long, painful road ahead. And sadly, their pain is all too familiar to construction workers and their families across the Country.
Crane collapse incidents are far too common, especially in New York, despite federal, state and local regulations pertaining to work and equipment at construction sites. Block O'Toole & Murphy fights to protect the rights of those injured, or tragically killed, in construction accidents. We are committed to helping injured construction workers and their families during a very difficult time. Our clients appreciate the care, attention and expertise we bring to their cases. Our attorneys not only have extensive knowledge and experience in this area of law, but are at the forefront of the laws' changes and developments. In New York State, construction workers are protected by the Labor Law, which sets strict safety standards and enables injured workers to recover from site owners and general contractors who have violated the law. For example, the New York law would enable a worker injured by the crane collapse to pursue a lawsuit against the site owner and general contractor. The law permits injured workers or family members of a killed worker to seek compensation for their significant losses, including medical expenses, wages lost, and extreme pain and suffering. Block O'Toole & Murphy works to maximize our clients' recovery under the law and to bring comfort, support and relief to their sad stories.