By Lola Fadulu
On Wednesday, 11 people were hurt when the construction crane on top of a Midtown Manhattan high-rise partially collapsed and burst into fire.
The fire started just before 7 am in the engine room of the crane located at 550 10th Avenue.
The crane operator, who was in the cabin of the machine, working to lift 16 tons concrete, noticed the fire. He tried to extinguish it with a handheld extinguisher, but failed, before escaping. As its upper part dropped, the crane’s 16-ton load fell on 555 10th Avenue.
Officials reported that one firefighter had been taken to hospital with chest pains. Officials reported that nine civilians, including two firefighters, suffered minor injuries.
A person involved in the project, who had been informed by investigators of the preliminary findings by the fire department, believes that the fire was caused by the rupture of a hydraulic pipe within the crane.
More than 200 emergency workers and firefighters were present, according to Joseph W. Pfeifer. The deputy commissioner for the Fire Department.
Tyra Robbins (26), a 26-year-old woman, went out when she saw people photographing the sunrise on 10th Avenue, between 34th Street and 35th Street, from her apartment building. She saw instead a crane leaning on the road and it was down within minutes.
Ms. Robbins said it was as though it fell in slow-motion.
She said that she froze when she saw a part of the crane break off and strike a building on the other side.
Calvin Chapman is a steamfitter who works at 550 10th Avenue. He said that when he looked up, and saw the electrical sparks on the ceiling, he, along with his co-workers, were running down stairs, and the crane arm fell by them.
Michael Feeney felt the crane drop while he was in his basement, deflating a pipe to activate the sprinklers.
He said: “The ceiling, walls, and the ground all shook. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced.”
According to Mr. Feeney, his adrenaline was coursing throughout his body. “I was thinking, I have to leave, I do not want to stay under the building any longer.”
Krasner who lived on the 54th level of an adjacent building, didn’t see the crane falling, but he heard the subsequent explosion.
On Sept. 11, 2001 he was on the 45th level of an office building in Wall Street when the second airplane hit the World Trade Center. Then came a big explosion, then a fireball. He quickly realized the collapse of the crane was nowhere near as big as Wednesday’s explosion, but he still remembered the moment he first saw it.
Jimmy Oddo is the commissioner for the City’s Buildings Department. He said that the crane was used to build a mixed-use, 54-story building.
Workers of Monadnock Construction – the contractor general on this project – hit a piece of ConEd’s equipment.
Safety was stated as a priority for the company in all its projects. It also said that they “fully cooperated with all regulatory authorities.”
Cross Country Construction rented a crane from New York Crane & Equipment.
Lomma was the name of the crane, which collapsed, in honor of James F. Lomma. Lomma had been a construction and crane entrepreneur, who died in 2019. The crane that collapsed was marked with the name Lomma, after James F. Lomma, a construction entrepreneur and crane manufacturer who passed away in 2019.
In 2015, it was determined that Lomma was negligent and ordered him to pay damages of $96,000,000 in a civil court trial. He filed for bankruptcy in 2016, and an appeals court of New York reduced the amount that was awarded to the family members the next year.
In 2013, a crane belonging to New York Crane and Equipment fell on a building in Long Island City in Queens, trapping and injuring three workers. The city suspended his license after determining that he had lifted a greater load than the crane could handle.
A crane fell in Lower Manhattan on February 16, 2016 due to gusts of wind approaching 20 miles an hour. Three other people were also injured.
For more information about our comprehensive fire safety services and how we can help you protect your property from the devastating impacts of fires, please feel free to contact our expert team. We are dedicated to answering any inquiries you may have and providing you with detailed insights into the fire prevention and mitigation solutions we offer.
When it comes to safeguarding your home or business from fire hazards, our experienced professionals are well-equipped to handle the task with efficiency and effectiveness. From fire risk assessments and fire alarm system installations to fire extinguisher training, Effective fire and smoke restoration and evacuation planning we use the latest industry techniques and top-quality equipment to ensure your property remains safe.
To request a free consultation or to learn more about our competitive pricing options, please visit our website at https://ncrestoration.ca/. Our dedicated customer support team is readily available to assist you and guide you through the process, ensuring a seamless experience with our fire safety services.
Your safety and the protection of your property are our top priorities. Don’t hesitate to get in touch and discover why we are the trusted choice for fire prevention and mitigation in Toronto. Let us work together to fortify your property against fires and provide you with peace of mind knowing that you have a robust fire safety plan in place.