Friday, May 30, 2008

Another Crane Falls in NYC

Yet another construction crane has fallen in New York City. At the corner of 91st Street and First Avenue a crane attached to a newly constructed building fell some twenty stories smashing into an occupied apartment building across the street and destroying cars below.

It is unknown how many casualties there are are. Over 100 firefighters are on the scene doing rescue work.

This is just the latest of a series of dramatic construction accidents in the city amounting to the death of 17 construction workers in the first five months of the year, more than the total deaths in all of 2007.

The most recent crane collapse led to the resignation of the head of the city's Department of Buildings and promises from Mayor Michael Bloomberg that it will never happen again. He also said the equivalent of "accidents happen." A representative of the builders association was reported as saying "no increased regulation could have stopped the collapse."

After years of reduced inspectors in the office, the City has promised additional inspectors and stopped all crane operations for a few days. But now the race to develop new construction in the city is back on. Much new construction is actually illegal or in violation of zoning laws, but it continues hoping to slip through

If workers or residents have been killed in the latest disaster, they are certainly victims of runaway development in Manhattan, which has gone almost unfettered during the economic recession. Corruption, rapacious greed, graft, government incompetence and lack of oversight has led to this situation and more construction accidents will happen until a drastic change will happen.

Breaking news: New York 1 television is reporting at least three suspected dead and the crane operator is trapped in the cab which has fallen to the ground.

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Matt Parker said...

This is unbelievably outrageous. The third crane collapse in two months? What's happening to our country?

Nicole said...

Apparently this construction site already had 8 serious safety violations, the latest of which was unsafe operation of a crane. These violations were serious enough to shut down the site. So far it looks like the problem is not the inspection process, but the enforcement behind the inspections. These construction managers are racking up violations and ignoring them.
Time to mobilize the unions - most of the fatalities and injuries are the construction workers. I'm pretty sure these sites would get their act together damn quick if there was a city-wide strike and all construction ground to a halt.