In a shocking incident that has shaken the city, a construction crane in New York City burst into flames and collapsed on Wednesday morning amidst the early morning rush, resulting in six injuries, including two firefighters. The catastrophic episode saw the crane crashing onto a populated street following a destructive collision with a nearby building as it was servicing a vacant 54-story tower by the Hudson Yards, as reported by The New York Post. Bearing 16 tons of concrete, the construction crane ignited into an uncontrollable inferno at its cabin area around 7:30 a.m., prompting immediate evacuation efforts.
A large crane on a high-rise building caught fire and collapsed in Manhattan.
Debris on the ground. Smoke in the air.pic.twitter.com/sFEGs92CTo
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) July 26, 2023
The ghastly sight was caught on multiple video recordings, detailing the fiery crane’s destructive descent: slamming into a neighboring building before tumbling onto the street, triggering a mass exodus of terrified bystanders from the danger below. An ominous cloud of smoke filled the air around the fallen crane, hindering the view of the scattered debris from the terrifying collapse. “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,” expressed Mayor Eric Adams, commending the expedient and effective response of the first responders on the scene.
The source of the fire, as stated by the officials of Fire Department City of New York (FDNY), was the engine of the crane. Despite the operator’s initial attempts to snuff out the flames, the extensive fire emerged victorious, forcing a rapid evacuation. The engulfing fire and subsequent collapse of the crane induced panic and fear, as recounted by construction worker Max Montanez, who described the ordeal, “All I heard was a loud boom, it shook the building. We just all started running down the stairs. Guys [were] getting stampeded on. It was bad.”
Apart from the physical damages in the form of falling debris that resulted in minor injuries to four civilians, two firefighters were also reportedly injured – albeit not critically. Consequently, a minimum of three individuals had to be taken for immediate hospitalization. This isn’t an isolated event, as New York has seen similar incidents in the past. Back in 2016, a massive 600-foot tall construction crane was responsible for the death of a passerby and injuries to three others when it toppled and fell onto unsuspecting pedestrians and parked vehicles.
As we conclude this initial report on this grim event, we cannot ignore the unseen resilience of New York City. Through its well-coordinated first responders, the city yet again displayed its ability to confront and control a crisis as deeply distressing as this one. This unfortunate incident serves as a stark reminder of the risks inherent in city development and the pivotal role of safety measures in mitigating such hazards. In the face of adversity, the city stands unbroken, while the inquiry into the cause behind the ignition unfolds. Amidst the dust and debris, the City of New York continues to hold its ground as an emblem of undeniable strength and resilience.