A tragic crane accident in Manhattan today is the latest in a string of noteworthy construction accidents in New York City. On the morning of Friday, February 5, 2016, one person was killed and two others seriously injured when an enormous crane collapsed in the Tribeca section of Lower Manhattan. Tragically, a bystander was killed when the crane fell on him. His name has not been released. The two injured people were taken to Bellevue Hospital where they are undergoing emergency treatment.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their family members.
According to witnesses and FDNY officials, the massive crane was swinging a wrecking ball at 8:24 am when it fell over on Worth Street between West Broadway and Church street. The collapsed crane crushed several cars parked on the street. A police source whose office is near the accident site said the crane stood 15 to 18 stories high. Surrounding streets were closed and subway trains were forced to bypass the stations in the area of the collapse as responders were also concerned about a potential gas leak and that the crane might be electrified.
At this point the cause of the collapse is unknown. An investigation will be undertaken by the New York City Department of Buildings and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) so hopefully the victims and their families can get some answers and horrible accidents like this can be prevented in the future. Sources are reporting that the collapsed crane bears the logo of Bay Crane, notably the same company that was involved in a crane collapse in Midtown Manhattan last year. The crane collapse involving Bay Crane last year injured 10 people. The investigative lights will be shining brightly on Bay Crane over the next several weeks.
One of the things investigators will focus on is whether the forceful winds played a role in this accident. The gusts of wind reached 32 mph in lower Manhattan shortly before the accident. High winds are a prominent, known cause of crane accidents. Proper preparation and planning for the weather could have prevented this accident. Did the safety management team at the jobsite account for the hazards that were posed by mother nature? We will be watching for details of the investigation to emerge.
Block O’Toole & Murphy is a law firm that is committed to fighting on behalf of construction workers and their families. The lawyers at this firm have been fortunate enough to recover almost one-billion dollars in verdicts and settlements for their clients. You may learn more about the lawyers, the firm and the work that they have done on behalf of construction workers by reviewing the firm website www.BlockOToole.com. You may also contact them at any time for a free consultation by calling 212.736.5300.