Seven workers suffered minor injuries when a crane collapsed at a Long Island City building site.
Around 2:20 p.m. today, firefighters responded to the incident at Center Boulevard and 46th Avenue, where they discovered three workers trapped beneath the fallen crane. According to Deputy Fire Chief Mark Ferran, the trapped individuals were extricated from the scene and taken to an area hospital, along with four other workers who suffered non-life-threatening injuries. No civilians were injured in the crash.
Several dozen workers were at the scene when the crane fell.
According to Ferran, the cause of the crane collapse is under investigation by Department of Buildings (DOB) engineers.
Diana Sanchez saw the crane collapse from her apartment in the building across the street. She said the crane shook as it attempted to lift loads of metal she believed to be too heavy for the device. She grew nervous as she watched the beleaguered apparatus. Then, it snapped.
“Everyone was screaming and running,” she said.
Sanchez said that following the recent collapse of a crane in Manhattan and the increase in construction jobs in Long Island City, she has been concerned about one collapsing nearby for some time.
The Maspeth-based company that manufactures the crane, New York Crane, declined to comment.
The same company was involved in a deadly 2008 crane collapse on the Upper East Side.
Its owner, James Lomma, was charged with manslaughter, but was found not guilty.
The crane from today’s accident was last approved for use by the DOB in October, according to the Daily News.
“Such accidents are avoidable, and I am hopeful a comprehensive investigation will be conducted to discover why today’s frightening incident occurred,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris.
Officials from TF Cornerstone, the building’s developer, were on scene but denied comment on the incident. The building is one of several built by TF Cornerstone as part of the revitalization of the Long Island City waterfront.
-With additional reporting by Cristabelle Tumola