A fiery disaster unfolded in New York City on Wednesday morning when a construction crane, burdened with 16 tons of concrete, ignited and toppled into an adjacent building. The calamity resulted in six individuals, including two firefighters, sustaining injuries. The crane was functioning at an unoccupied, under-construction edifice on 550 10th Avenue, in the vicinity of Hudson Yards, between West 41st and West 42nd Streets. The fire erupted around 7:30 a.m. in the cabin area of the crane, leading to its collapse.
The crane’s upper part plummeted onto a building across the street before crashing onto the ground, as captured in video footage. Debris was strewn across the street, but Mayor Adams noted that the situation could have been far worse. He commended the first responders for their swift and effective handling of the crisis.
Three individuals were transported to the hospital due to injuries from the debris. It remains uncertain whether any of the injured were construction workers. Pedestrians and passing vehicles reacted promptly to the sudden collapse, as depicted in the footage.
A construction worker, who was fitting sprinkler systems on the 26th floor of the same building, likened the incident to a loud explosion. Another worker compared the sound of the collapse to an earthquake.
The fire escalated to a four-alarm fire, prompting officials to advise New Yorkers to steer clear of the area and prepare for traffic. The crane was marked with the name of the Lomma Crane company. Four civilians and two firefighters sustained non-life-threatening injuries, with at least three of them admitted to the hospital.
FDNY First Deputy Fire Commissioner Joseph Pfeifer disclosed that one firefighter was suffering from chest pains. The crane operator was on site when the fire broke out but was unable to extinguish it. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Governor Kathy Hochul expressed her appreciation to the first responders and extended her prayers to those impacted by the incident. The crane was a property of the Lomma Crane company, formerly owned by the late James F. Lomma, who was acquitted of manslaughter and other charges in connection with a fatal crane collapse in 2008.