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Dangling New York crane reminds city of disasters

As we write this, it's known that Superstorm Sandy devastated New York City, but the extent of the damage is unknown.

What's unknown also is the fate of the construction crane dangling from a luxury high-rise in midtown Manhattan. The crane was toppled by Sandy's ferocious gusts and hangs precariously along the side of the building today. The dangling crane reminds many in this city of the crane collapse disasters that struck here not long ago.

The crane on the nearly finished One57 near Central Park, Columbus Drive and Carnegie Hall collapsed around two in the afternoon on Monday as winds were blasting up to 95 miles per hour at the time.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he isn't sure yet why the crane collapsed, but the city's Buildings Department spokesperson assured residents that "the best of the best" inspectors and engineers would be looking at the mammoth crane and trying to figure out how to bring it safely down.

The department had ordered work on the building halted at five on Saturday afternoon, as it urged contractors to secure worksites around the city.

Was the crane improperly secured? No one knows yet.

But the sight of the enormous steel rig hanging from the building is reminder of the terrible crane collapses of 2008, when two Manhattan cranes collapsed within two months of each other.

Nine people were killed in the two collapses.

In May of 2008, the boom on a 200-foot-tall rig snapped, slamming into a nearby building and then crashing to the ground.

You undoubtedly recall a crane falling and killing a construction worker this past April as well.

Source: Associated Press, "Crane dangles from NYC high-rise, clearing streets," Oct. 29, 2012

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