MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) – A work order was placed on a skyscraper under construction in Midtown Manhattan after a rotating crane dropped large pieces of debris on the street in stormy weather Thursday night.
The video showed the tip of the crane turning in a circle in the rainy weather in the building on West 57th Street in Manhattan, which is over 400 meters high.
“The lifting ball swung and hit (a) the glass facade and knocked out large pieces of aluminum, glass sections on several floors,” was the order of the Department of Buildings.
Sixth Avenue will remain closed between 56th and 58th Streets on Friday, as will 57th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, pending investigation.
“Our technical engineers are back today and are working to determine exactly how this incident occurred and who is responsible for this serious security breach,” the DOB said in a statement. “New York City has the strictest crane regulation in the country to protect the public and such an incident is unacceptable. We have stopped all work on the project, with the exception of operations related to the safety and security of the site.”
The incident was reported around 7 p.m. in the 84-story high-rise apartment
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“We just heard this huge crash,” said restaurant owner Tove Nord. “It actually sounded like an explosion.”
Nord’s restaurant is a block and a half away, and she weathered her outdoor platform as the earth shook.
“Maybe a 20-foot piece of railing and glass that looked like a huge window came out of nowhere,” Nord said. “It’s kind of wind-milled and split off in a section, a transverse section and a longitudinal section.”
Fortunately, no injuries were reported.
FDNY officials say a responding crew went to the top floors of the building where they could see a cable hanging from a tower crane that swung around in the wind and slammed into the building.
“We’re talking about metal and glass pieces,” said John Hodgens, FDNY deputy chief. “Pretty amazing that there are no injuries.”
The Department of Buildings says the crane did not collapse and, despite previous reports, was not unstable.
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Firefighters worked with the construction company and the building department to find a crane operator to secure the crane.
The FDNY says the crane is being evaluated.
Videos of the crane show it was spinning and the DOB says this is known as a “weather vane” and is a normal crane function.
Weathervaning is a standard configuration for tower cranes that allows them to be slewed 360 degrees when not in use.
This is done so that the crane can sway in the direction of the wind, which reduces wind resistance and increases the stability of the crane.
Lee Goldberg explained how high winds caused by remnants of Hurricane Zeta could have contributed to the crane’s rotation:
The apartment tower is on Billionaires Row, and the apartments in the building cost more than $ 30 million.
It was eight years ago on the same block in Midtown during Superstorm Sandy when parts of a 70-story crane fell down on a construction site. Fortunately, no one was injured in the incident either.
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