Jun 29, 2023
New York crane collapses into building in middle of city after raging fire in skyline
A crane in Hells Kitchen in the centre of New York has dramatically erupted into flames and then collapsed to the ground - emergency services have rushed to the scene A massive crane carrying 16
A crane in Hells Kitchen in the centre of New York has dramatically erupted into flames and then collapsed to the ground - emergency services have rushed to the scene
A massive crane carrying 16 tonnes of concrete dramatically collapsed after erupting into flames and smashing into a neighbouring building in the centre of New York, earlier today.
Six people including two firefighters have been injured after the burning crane crashed to the ground in New York City, leaving smoke billowing into the sky.
The crane's cabin caught fire at around 7.30am local time.
One witness said it "sounded like lightning or an explosion," and firefighters could be seen hosing down the resulting blaze from a nearby building.
In a shocking video, the crane can be seen striking a building, believed to be residential, across the street as it collapses. A nearby hotel was evacuated earlier and police are in the process of clearing the rest of 42nd street.
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Debris from the crane and nearby buildings were seen striking the road below with cars using it at the time.
The building the crane was operating on is around 40 stories high when the cabin area suddenly caught fire around 7.30am.
The crane operator was lifting 16 tons of concrete and heroically tried to put the fire out all on his own, but found he was unable to and managed to escape to safety.
Reports say three of the six people injured have been taken to a nearby hospital. Miraculously, none of the injuries sustained are believed to be life-threatening.
An official from the Department of Buildings said people were fortunate not to be seriously injured.
Mayor Eric Adams could be seen meeting with the FDNY's First Deputy Commissioner at the scene.
“You see the debris on the street, this could have been much worse. We were fortunate that this was not a busy time of day,” Mayor Adams told reporters at the scene.
“We’re also fortunate that first responders responded in such a manner and made the right evaluation of how to look at the fire and crisis we were presented with and came up with [the right solution],” Mayor Adams said.
The New York Fire Department has confirmed it is fighting the blaze after a five-alarm fire alert was activated. This is the highest level alarm sounded for fire and is considered a blaze that "can require as many as 100 firefighters in order to extinguish the fire entirely."
"FDNY units are currently operating at a crane collapse and fire at 550 Tenth Avenue in Manhattan." the service said earlier.
Most of the fire has now been extinguished, according to reports.
Another added they could see part of the crane fall onto vehicles below, possibly including a taxi and police car.
The witness wrote: " Fire in #HellsKitchen. A #crane caught fire. #FDNY currently putting it out by shooting water at it from a nearby building.
"Part of it fell onto the street as well, I think onto a taxi cab and part of a police car. Scary start to my morning."
Further witness reports say the crane was located on 41st and 10th Ave in the Hudson Yards construction site in Manhattan, near the area of Hells Kitchen.
Heidi Elmore, staying in a nearby hotel, wrote on Twitter : "Welcome to New York. Crane next to my hotel is on fire and collapsing so we had to evacuate."
10th Avenue has been closed until further notice and an NYPD helicopter has been seen flying overhead to assess the scene.
Further assistance has been requested from a master rigger and a crane supervisor.
The NYPD has advised people to keep clear of the area.
The crane was emblazoned with the name of Lomma Crane company, which was owned by James F. Lomma.
He was previously acquitted of manslaughter in connection with the deadly collapse of a crane on the East Side of Manhattan in 2008.
It is not known who currently owns the crane.
Police said: "Due to a crane collapse, please avoid the area of 10th Avenue and 11th Avenue from West 41 Street to West 42 Street. Please use alternate routes and expect traffic in the area."
First responders have now begun the process of dismantling the crane.
A reporter at the scene told The Mirror: "There is a big smell of smoke in the area, loads of people are crowding the streets, most of them frustrated at not knowing when they’ll be allowed into their homes again.
"Traffic is really piling up as streets in the surrounding areas around W41st and W42nd at 9th and 10th are closed.
"Just spoke with a tourist who has just arrived in the city from California this morning whose plans have been ruined now, as she can’t get to the parking garage she’s reserved for her trip as it’s behind the police cordon."
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