Why Did a Crane Collapse in New York Last Week?

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A construction crane in Manhattan caught fire and collapsed last week, causing panic and chaos in the busy streets of New York City. The accident raised questions about the safety and regulation of the construction industry, especially in highly populated areas. Here’s everything you need to know about the crane collapse in New York last week.

What happened?

Last Wednesday, a fire started on a construction crane near Hudson Yards. The crane, which was standing 45 stories above the street, burst into flames around 10:30 a.m. and its arm hit a nearby high-rise as it crashed to the street. The fire was extinguished by firefighters within an hour, but the crane remained unstable and dangling over the building.

While an official cause of the blaze has not been determined, it is believed to be accidental, according to the preliminary investigation. The accident may have been caused by a hydraulic fluid leak in the machine’s engine compartment.

Was anyone hurt?

The crane collapse injured 12 people, including three firefighters and several construction workers. None of the injuries were life-threatening, but some of the victims suffered from burns, smoke inhalation, and cuts from flying debris. The crane operator escaped unharmed and was taken to a hospital for evaluation. The crane collapse also forced people to evacuate from nearby buildings, including a hotel, an office tower, and a residential complex.

How much property damage was caused?

The crane collapse damaged a 31-story high-rise at 515 West 36th Street, which was under construction and slated to be completed by next year. The building sustained cracks on its facade and windows, as well as water damage from the firefighting efforts.

The crane also smashed several cars parked on the street, including a yellow cab and a black SUV. The owners of the vehicles were not inside them at the time of the incident. The total cost of the property damage is not yet known, but it is expected to be significant. The crane itself was worth about $4 million, according to its owner.

How often do accidents like this happen?

Construction accidents are fairly common in New York City, which has a booming and competitive construction industry. Construction workers account for 27% of work-related injuries in New York City, even though they only make up 5% of the workforce.

Chris Van Duyne, the operator controlling the crane during last week’s accident, was involved in another crane accident in 2008 and had his operator’s license suspended for eight months. In that accident, a man fell to his death while helping take apart a crane owned by a different company, where Van Duyne was employed at the time.

New York Crane and Equipment Corp, who own the crane that collapsed this week, have also been involved in their fair share of accidents in the past. In two separate incidents in 2008, cranes owned by New York Crane and Equipment Corp collapsed. These incidents caused a total of nine fatalities.