Manhattan construction crane collapse kills one, injures three

A collapsed crane lies on the street on Friday Feb. 5 2016 in New York. The crane landed across an intersection and stretched much of a block in the Tribeca neighborhood about 10 blocks north of the World Trade Center. There was damage to the roof

Manhattan construction crane collapse kills one, injures three

New York City officials say it could be weeks before they know what caused a deadly construction crane collapse.

A Department of Buildings official said Saturday the investigation would be "extensive" and that the situation would be looked at "from top to bottom".

That failure caused the massive structure to collapse across two blocks on Worth Street around 8:30 Friday morning - killing 38-year-old David Wichs and injuring three others.

Two people who were injured in Friday's crane collapse were released from the hospital Saturday.

The crane fell as it was being lowered amid roughly 20 miles per hour winds in a snow squall.

Firefighters and construction crews work on clearing a collapsed crane, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in NY.

Mayor Bill de Blasio initially said the person killed in the collapse was in an auto, but police later said he was on the sidewalk.

The crane was used to install generators and air conditioning units atop a nearby high-rise and had been inspected by the Department of Buildings on Thursday to approve an extension, officials said. The crane landed across an intersection and stretched much of a block in the Tribeca neighborhood, about 10 blocks north of the World Trade Center. Another 53 taller "tower cranes" are also being operated in the city.

Witnesses reported hearing a loud boom as the crane came down. However, according to construction workers who were watching from a nearby building, as the crane workers tried to lower it, the crane unexpectedly gained speed until it flipped over.

They rushed outside. "It went down the whole length of the street", he said. Officials said inspectors were deployed throughout the city to get it done.

The accidents spurred the resignation of the city buildings commissioner and fueled new safety measures, including hiring more inspectors and expanding training requirements and inspection checklists. Yet, life-threatening conditions still exist.

"So that we can have a better understanding of how these accidents are investigated", he said.

That is exactly what the Department of Buildings is working on. "They don't want to have anything to do with that as well".

"City enforcement must do more than levy fines and increase the cost of doing business, it must actually make unsafe work sites into safe ones", Brewer said in a statement. Officials hope to have the street open for Monday morning, but it's unclear if that will be able to happen in time.

It will be broken into 35 separate pieces taken out on flatbed trucks to be examined further. The crane will have to be taken apart and removed in sections. De Blasio said there are gas leaks as a result of the crane collapse. He says the crew had been directing people away from the area as the crane was being moved.

"The main point is to cut them in locations that doesn't compromise the forensic engineering value, so that we can have experts study how these pieces failed", Chandler said. Officials have recovered an onboard computer that would reveal the angle of the 565-foot boom before it fell over Worth Street, he said.

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