A 565-foot heavy crawler crane was hanging 15 stories high when it unexpected fell down Friday morning at the intersection of 40 Worth Street and West Broadway in New York City.
A life was tragically lost as the crane tumbled down at 8:24 AM, and crushed the victim, David Wich, 38, who was sitting in his car.
According to New York City’s Office of Emergency Management, “three individuals were injured in the crash, two seriously with lacerations to the head,” by falling debris.
In an immediate response, the New York City Fire Department sent out more than 140 firefighters after the incident occurred.
The National Weather Service reported that “New York was under a winter weather advisory Friday morning, with the forecast calling for snow and sustained winds between 16 mph and 18 mph, and gusts as strong as 29 mph.”
City officials state that workers used the crane to “replace generators and air conditioners on the building’s roof [on Hudson Street] and had been inspected at 6:20 A.M. on Thursday.” Police and building department officials are searching for answers to how the crane dropped.
Officials said the hefty crane's drop may have ruined underground gas mains, and utility inspectors were sent to see if there were any gas leaks. So far, a leaking water main was noted and is shut down.
Transportation and subways have also taken a toll from this incident. The No. 1 subway train is now navigating Franklin Street and Chambers Street. Also, No. 2 and No. 3 subway trains are rerouting around Chambers Street.
Building Commissioner Rick Chandler reported that the collateral damage, thus far, was the parapets on two sites near the New York Law School. For precautions in case the two buildings collapse, the streets are currently blocked off until further notice. Due to the incident, the New York Law School campus is temporarily closed and will resume the following Monday, spokeswoman Silvia Alvarez announced.
People near the Tribeca neighborhood are appalled at what has happened.
CNN interviewed Glen Zito, a resident on the 30th floor of a bordering building commented, “At a certain point it was coming down, it was probably at 90 degrees, the two halves, and then it just sped up. And at that point we watched it fall and then the body of the cab of the crane flipped over.”
Witness Robert Harold told New York Times, “It was a crashing sound. You could feel the vibration in the building. I looked out the window and saw it lying in the street.”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio commented, “This is a very sad incident, we lost a life. If you go out there and see what happened, thank God it was not worse.”
In order to avoid any more incidents, New York City promptly instructed the 376 crawlers and 53 tower cranes to be secured.