Damaged Crane Dangles Above Manhattan Streets

Due to the heavy machinery and dangerous tools at construction sites, construction accidents can be dangerous and deadly to workers. Construction accident attorneys represent workers and bystanders involved in such accidents fight such accidents to ensure that injured workers and families of the deceased get adequate compensation. Construction lawsuits also help ensure that companies and contractors employ all safety measures before beginning any activity so that such incidents do not occur again.

A recent New York Times article reported on a crane that was snapped and left dangling atop a luxury highrise in the early hours of Hurricane Sandy. The crane visibly snapped and was poised to plummet 1,000 feet to the ground. Officials scrambled to secure the crane while preparing for the worst of the hurricane.

That night, when the winds picked up and swept through Manhattan, the crane began twisting rapidly, appearing to fall any moment. Many buildings in the surrounding area were evacuated as an emergency safety precaution. The luxury high rise, known as One57, is located off Central Park, and is poised to be the tallest residential building in the city once completed. No one, not even Mayor Bloomberg, knew how to secure the threatening crane or if it was safe to attempt such measures with the ensuing storm.

The city braced itself for the eventuality of the crane collapsing. Along with the evacuation of the neighboring buildings, steam pipes running below the streets were shut down and the surrounding area was closed to pedestrians and traffic. A total of seven square blocks were closed off and evacuated, affecting hundreds of residents, businesses (including Carnegie Hall), and hotels.

The penthouse apartments of One57 are expected to sell for about $90 million apiece. However, when the crane snapped all that onlookers – consisting of tourists, pedestrians and nearby restaurant workers – could think of was a potentially dangerous and expensive construction accident in the making.

The dangling crane, owned and operated by Pinnacle Industries, reportedly had numerous problems prior to its snapping. Building Department records show that since the beginning of construction the crane leaked hydraulic fluid and the wire rope holding up the boom encountered problems, causing work to be suspended temporarily.

As Hurricane Sandy grew in strength and velocity, a double gust of wind caused the crane to bend backwards at an angle it was unable to support.

The Building Department and structural engineers devised plans to secure the crane’s structure on a temporary basis. Fortunately, it was secured before any further damage could be done.

Construction accidents can be extremely serious and cause life-long disabilities, inability to work, or even death. If you or a loved one has been injured during a construction accident, contact an experienced construction accident lawyer at the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. Our attorneys can help you recover lost wages and receive compensation for medical bills and other damages.