A hulking construction crane with a boom longer than 550 feet has collapsed early Friday (February 5th) morning in Lower Manhattan. The shockwave could be felt throughout the surrounding blocks, and the incident resulted in one fatality, two critical injuries, and one noncritical. The name of the deceased has not been released but it is reported that they were inside a parked vehicle atop which the crane fell.
Preliminary investigations suggest that the crane collapsed due to strong, snowy gusts of wind tearing through the city at the time. Mayor Bill de Blasio attended an immediate news conference regarding the accident, where he said crewmembers reported winds around 20 miles per hour. Regulations require cranes this build to be secured if winds reach 25 miles per hour or more.
If crewmember assessments of wind speed are correct, it could mean one of two things:
- Safety regulations for crane securement processes may need to be revised in regards to wind speed hazards, or
- Crane operator negligence played a hand in the collapse
It is also reported that pedestrians had been directed out of the immediate area as the crane was being secured, and yet there were still four people hurt, one fatally so. Why would they be there if all safety precautions were being followed precisely? As this construction accident has unfolded so recently, it might be days or weeks until more reliable information is provided to the public.
(The New York Times has published a full article on the crane accident you can read here.)
In the meantime, it can be expected that victims or families of the victims may have grounds to file workers’ compensation claims or personal injury lawsuits in the near future. Here at the Law Offices of Brian J. Mongelluzzo, LLC, our Connecticut workers’ comp attorneys will be following this story closely. Be sure to visit our blog frequently for any important updates. You may also call us at 203.663.3695 for help with a personal injury case of your own.