The boom of a tower crane, with its engine on fire, collapsed July 26 at a high-rise construction site in midtown Manhattan—hitting the face of the building across the street as it dropped its 16-ton load. City officials said they would investigate the mishap, which caused minor injuries to two firefighters and four others.
At a press conference, Jimmy Oddo, commissioner of the New York City Dept. of Buildings, said the 47-story residential project was fully permitted. He added that the department will hire an engineer to conduct an independent assessment of the cause, similar to the inquiry into the cause of a parking garage collapse in Manhattan’s Financial District earlier this year. It also is checking the structural integrity of the damaged building and others in the area.
Firefighters received a report at about 7:25 a.m. of a fire 45 stories up in the engine compartment of the crane attached to and alongside the residential tower, named 550 10th Avenue, between West 40th and West 41st streets in the Hudson Yards special district, First Deputy Fire Commissioner Joe Pfeifer told reporters during the press conference. The crane’s operator tried to put out the flames with a handheld extinguisher but was overwhelmed and escaped safely, Pfeifer said, adding that “we give a lot of credit” to that operator.
The crane's boom and its load of concrete fell as firefighters were arriving, Pfeifer said. Mayor Eric Adams said it was fortunate the collapse had not happened at a busier time of day in the area.
“As you see from the debris on the street, this could have been much worse,” Adams said.
Watch a video of the crane boom's collapse. Warning, this video contains explicit language.
Records name Monadnock Construction of Brooklyn as the general contractor for the building. Brooklyn-based Valjato Engineering is the crane engineer. Cross Country Construction LLC, of Elmsford, N.Y., is the crane operator and New York Crane & Equipment is the crane owner, Oddo said. The companies did not immediately respond to inquiries.
Oddo said one previous incident on the project was reported during excavation, when workers hit a ConEd electrical transformer vault.
The project owner is Go Covenant LLC, which is associated with New York developer Gotham. The building design by Handel Architects calls for 450 living units plus ground floor retail, according to Gotham’s website. It is expected to be finished next year, according to the developer.