A 45-story construction crane caught fire early Wednesday morning, partially collapsing onto 10th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen. Eleven people, including two New York City firefighters, suffered minor injuries. In the blaze, the crane’s arm broke apart, striking an adjacent building as it fell. Firefighters evacuated the building and several nearby buildings as a cautionary measure over fears that additional portions of the crane may collapse.
At the time of the fire, the crane was lifting 16 tons of concrete to the upper floors of a building under construction at 10th Avenue, between West 41st and 42nd Streets. The crane’s operator attempted to douse the fire with an extinguisher, which began in the engine compartment, but they were unable to and were forced to evacuate. The operator and other construction crew members safely evacuated by ladders inside the building.
The New York Fire Department Deputy Commissioner stated that the blaze’s intense heat weakened the cable in the crane’s arm, causing it to collapse under the weight of the concrete load. Firefighters doused the fire from a nearby rooftop, extinguishing it in approximately two hours.
The Department received assistance assessing the scene from a crane supervisor and master rigger, along with the New York City Police Department, which deployed a helicopter to assess the scene entirely. The crane cab was completely destroyed, but the extent of damage to the remainder of the crane. The buildings involved in the accident are currently unknown.
Only minor injuries were reported. Construction accidents of this magnitude typically result in catastrophic, if not fatal, injuries, especially those involving fires or high-rise equipment collapses.
Construction is one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 150,000 construction-related injuries are documented yearly. Construction-related deaths account for 46 percent of all work-related fatalities, the highest percentage of any industry in the country.
You may be entitled to compensation if someone else’s negligence caused your construction accident injury. Our legal team at Rubenstein & Rynecki understands that construction accidents can be devastating. Call us at 718-522-1020 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and learn more. Located in Brooklyn, New York, we serve clients throughout New York City, including The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island.