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735 views • July 26, 2023

Pedestrians Scatter as Fire Causes New York Construction Crane's Arm to Collapse and Crash to Street

NTD News
NTD News
NEW YORK—A towering construction crane caught fire high above the West Side of Manhattan on Wednesday morning, causing its long arm to snap off, smash against a nearby building and plummet to the street as people ran for their lives on the sidewalk below. Four people suffered minor injuries in the collapse, but no one died, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said. “As you can see from the debris on the street, this could have been much worse,” the Democrat said at a news conference, noting that the street at that hour of the morning is often filled with pedestrians, cars, and buses. The crane was operating 45 stories up when its engine compartment caught fire at around 7:25 a.m., authorities said. Photos and videos on social media show flames bursting from the crane hundreds of feet above 10th Avenue at 41st Street. The crane's arm, which was carrying a 16-ton load of concrete, dangled before breaking off. “That weight of 16 tons is attached by a cable,” said Joseph Pfeifer, first deputy commissioner for the Fire Department of New York. “As the fire heats the cable, the cable weakens to a point where it loses its strength, and that’s where the collapse occurred.” The person operating the crane tried to put out the fire as it spread but had to flee to safety, Mr. Pfeifer said. A worker at a nearby construction site said everyone stopped and watched as flames engulfed the top of the crane and a column of black smoke rose above buildings. Within a few minutes, firefighters were shooting water down at the blaze from a balcony of an adjacent building.
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