Six people, including two firefighters, were injured when a construction crane carrying 16 tons of concrete caught fire and collapsed into a neighboring building in New York City. The incident occurred on Wednesday morning at 550 10th Avenue, an under-construction, vacant building near Hudson Yards. The top portion of the crane collapsed, striking a building across the street before crashing onto the ground. Fortunately, the incident happened during a less busy time of day, minimizing the potential for more severe injuries.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) reported that the cabin area of the crane suddenly caught fire around 7:30 a.m. The fire quickly spread, leading to the collapse of the crane. Mayor Adams expressed gratitude that the incident occurred during a quieter period and commended the first responders for their swift and effective actions. Disturbing footage captured the moment of the collapse, showing pedestrians fleeing and cars honking in the aftermath.
Construction workers who were present at the scene described the noise as a loud boom, akin to an earthquake. Four civilians and two firefighters sustained non-life-threatening injuries, with at least three requiring hospitalization. One of the firefighters experienced chest pains. FDNY First Deputy Fire Commissioner Joseph Pfeifer confirmed that the injuries were minor at the time of his statement.
The cause of the fire remains unclear, and investigations are ongoing. The crane operator was present during the incident but was unable to extinguish the flames. Witnesses, such as Heidi Elmore, shared videos of the fire and collapse on social media, highlighting the chaotic scene. The NYPD advised New Yorkers to avoid the area, while Governor Kathy Hochul expressed gratitude to the first responders and offered her prayers to those affected.
The crane involved in the incident bore the name of Lomma Crane company, owned by James F. Lomma. Lomma was previously acquitted of manslaughter charges in connection with a deadly crane collapse on the Upper East Side in 2008. In that incident, two workers lost their lives due to a cracked bearing. Another crane collapse occurred in 2016 in downtown Manhattan, resulting in the death of a mathematician and injuries to three others.