A luffing tower crane has fallen over in Manhattan, New York today, on 51st Street between Second and First Avenues, landing on a residential building, killing seven people and injuring at least 20 others.
The crane, a Favelle Favco, was reportedly being climbed when it went over. The climb had been cleared by the city authorities, and the crane was inspected on Friday and cleared with no violations found. It had climbed from a height of 19 to 22 stories, taking the tower height to around 60 metres, when the accident happened.
The collapse happened around 14:22 at the apartment block under construction at 303 East 51st Street. Some reports say that falling metal sheared the crane's tie-in allowing the tower to fall accross the road onto an adjacent building, the top part of the tower and the superstructure broke free and crashed into a building across the next street over. In all it hit three buildings on 50th and 51st streets.
The main part of the tower is leaning against a building, while the top is burried in the buildings on the opposite side of 50th Street.
The crane is owned by New York Crane, an ascociated company of JF Lomma, and was being operated by JCI Equipment for the contractor RCG Construction Group.
According to mayor Michael Bloomberg, who arrived on the scene, 13 violations had been made against the project since work began in January 2006.
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