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article imageGiant construction crane falls onto Manhattan street, killing one

By Nathan Salant     Feb 6, 2016 in Odd News
New York - One person was killed and at least three others injured Friday when a 500-foot construction crane toppled over on a normally busy Manhattan street.
The crane, which had been used to replace air conditioning units on the roof of a historic Tribeca building, fell over while it was being lowered by workers out of concern for high winds, according to the Associated Press.
The fallen crane damaged a nearby building and crushed the roofs of cars parked on Hudson Street, around 10 blocks north of the World Trade Center.
The man killed was identified as David Wichs, a Harvard Univ. graduate from the Czech Republic who worked for a computerized trading company, who had apparently been parked on Hudson Street.
Others of the injured had been in cars or walking on Hudson Street when the crane collapsed at 8:25 a.m. Friday morning.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the death and injury toll would probably have been much higher had workers been directing pedestrians away while they lowered the crane.
"Thank God we didn't have more injuries and lose more people," the mayor said.
"It's something of a miracle that there was not more of an impact," he said.
But nearby buildings were evacuated as city inspectors checked for gas leaks and other damage
The mobile crane's boom stretched nearly an entire block as it lay on the ground.
Robert Harold of the Legal Aid Society said the crane fell with a loud crashing sound, just outside his office window.
"You could feel the vibration in the building," he said, recalling seeing onlookers trying to rescue someone in a parked car and seeing another person lying motionless on the street.
City officials launched an investigation into why the accident happened.
The crane was owned by Bay Crane Service Inc. of Long Island City, NY, and operated by Galasso Trucking Inc. of Maspeth, NY.
But the crane had been inspected one day earlier by city building inspectors who found no problems, de Blasio said.
City officials ordered more than 400 cranes in use in New York to be put in secure positions until further notice, the AP said.
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