A massive crane from Bay Crane Company has collapsed in Manhattan. Photos of the scene show the crane fell along the roadway, demolishing several cars and trapping people inside their cars. The collapse happened in Lower Manhattan on 40 Worth St. and West Broadway. According to reports, one person is dead and two are seriously injured. The crane was being used to work on a building at 56 Hudson Street when it collapsed.
The collapse happened just before 8:30 am fire officials said, striking surrounding buildings as it came down. Many people are still trapped in their cars.
More than 100 firefighters have been dispatched to the scene. Sheila Walsh, a women who works nearby where the accident occurred, called NBC News 4 and reported what she saw. “I was sitting in my office,” she said. “…the crane buckled…and collapsed…now lines the street on top of a lot of cars. Two of my colleagues went downstairs to see if they could help because people were stuck in cars.”
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Walsh said that only a few days a earlier a co-worker told her, “The crane almost looks like it’s kind of weakened.” Walsh said Church Street was very busy at the time of the accident and many patrons were getting their pastries at Arcade Bakery on the first floor.
Andrew Siff, a reporter for NBC News 4 in New York, said the businesses all along the street are being evacuated because reports of gas leaks. Sidney Alvarez, spokesperson for the Con Edison Electric and Gas Company, told NBC News 4 they are in the process of isolating the gas leak and evacuating the gas lines to help prevent the possibility of fire or explosion. Any lower Manhattan resident living in and around the area of the crane collapse should report to Con Edison if they smell any rotten egg smell associated with a natural gas leak.
Bay Crane Company, according to NBC News 4, has a history of accidents. In 2010, and in 2015, Bay Crane Company cranes collapsed. Many were injured in the 2015 collapse. As a result, they were hit with over 60 violations and 42,000 penalties. It is uncertain at this time whether Bay Crane Company or the crane operator is responsible for Friday’s deadly incident.