A construction crane in Manhattan caught fire and collapsed from the top of a 45-story skyscraper on 10th Avenue in the Hudson Yards area, resulting in six minor injuries on Wednesday morning. Among the injured were four civilians and two firefighters, who were outside the vicinity of the crane when it plummeted to the street below. New York City authorities reported that the firefighters were already en route to what later became a five-alarm fire when the incident occurred.
FDNY Deputy Commissioner Joseph Pfeifer addressed the media, revealing that all those injured, including a firefighter with chest pains, were fortunately not in the immediate vicinity of the crane when it fell. Mayor Eric Adams expressed relief at the news briefing, stating that the situation could have been far worse, considering the potential danger posed by the collapsing crane in a densely populated area.
Over 200 firefighters and medics rushed to the scene to combat the blaze. They promptly evacuated surrounding buildings and extended hose lines to the top floors of neighboring skyscrapers to contain the fire. By approximately 9:30 a.m., local time, drone footage suggested that most of the fire had been extinguished.
The 550 10th Ave. skyscraper, where the crane collapse occurred, was intended to be a 54-story mixed-use building. New York City Department of Buildings Commissioner Jimmy Oddo assured the public that a thorough investigation would be conducted to determine the cause of the incident. Additionally, an independent assessment will be commissioned to examine the circumstances surrounding the collapse.
Preliminary findings indicated that the crane was lifting 16 tons of concrete when the operator noticed a fire in the engine compartment. The blaze eventually heated the crane’s cable, causing it to weaken and give way, leading to the collapse. The crane operator was left with no choice but to evacuate and seek safety once the situation became uncontrollable. As the top part of the crane came crashing down, it collided with a building across the street.
Numerous videos captured the harrowing incident, showing the crane engulfed in flames before detaching and crashing into a neighboring skyscraper and onto the street below. Bystanders and pedestrians in the area were forced to flee to safety as the crane collapsed.
Authorities closed surrounding streets to traffic, but some streets reopened by 9:30 a.m., according to the New York City Police Department. However, 10th Avenue between 34th and 42nd streets remained closed as of Wednesday morning.
The location of the incident, Manhattan’s west side, is in proximity to the Port Authority Bus Terminal and an entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel, a crucial transportation link between New Jersey and New York City. Investigations are ongoing to determine the full extent of the damage and the causes behind the crane’s failure.
Contributing: Associated Press.
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