A construction crane at a site in Long Island collapsed Wednesday afternoon. According to witnesses, the crane appeared to fold in on itself. The collapse trapped three workers under the heavy metal edifice, but fortunately killed no one. Seven workers suffered injuries as a result of the construction accident.
Workers reported hearing cables snap shortly before the 380-foot crane came crashing down. The rig had been in place for four days and was working on a luxury tower in Queens. Around 70 people were present at the construction site when the collapse occurred. The cause of the collapse is not known at this time.
The company that owns the crane suffered a similar incident in 2008. In that case, the crane collapse caused fatal injuries. The owner, James Lomma, faced charges of criminally negligent homicide in connection with that incident. He was eventually acquitted.
Approximately 80 people per year are killed in crane accidents. These accidents may be the result of uncontrolled loads, crane tip-overs or the collapse of the boom. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health lists several methods to help companies avoid crane injuries. First on the list is the need to inspect and maintain each crane per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Officials are currently investigating what led to this latest crane collapse.
Source: New York Daily News, “Seven construction workers hurt after crane collapses onto Long Island City, Queens work site,” by Joe Kemp and Greg B. Smith, 9 January 2013