(NEW YORK) — A crane caught fire and partially collapsed off a high-rise building in midtown Manhattan during Wednesday morning’s commute, littering the street with debris, according to officials.
Eleven people suffered non-life-threatening injuries, including two firefighters, officials said.
One woman told ABC News the crane struck her apartment window and the glass shattered in her face.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams stressed at a news conference that the accident, which unfolded around 7:35 a.m., could have been much worse if it occurred later in the morning.
“We were extremely, extremely lucky,” he said.
The building, which is under construction, is a 45-story structure at 550 10th Avenue, according to the Department of Buildings. The crane hit a building across the street at 555 10th Avenue.
The crane operator was moving 16 tons of concrete when the operator saw the fire started and tried to extinguish it, officials said. The fire heated the crane’s cable, causing the collapse, officials said.
Monadnock Construction, the general contractor on the project, said in a statement that their workers are in stable condition.
The crane operator was able to evacuate safely, officials said.
The fire department said the situation was under control by 11:44 a.m. and the Department of Buildings said the “tower crane and impacted buildings were found to be structurally stable.”
The preliminary investigation suggests the fire was likely caused by a hydraulic fluid leak, according to officials briefed on the situation. The probe is ongoing.
Following this morning’s tower crane collapse in Midtown Manhattan, DOB inspectors & engineers remain on scene and their investigation is ongoing.
The tower crane and impacted buildings were found to be structurally stable, and thankfully only minor injuries have been reported. pic.twitter.com/Rlrf5urmYf
— NYC Buildings (@NYC_Buildings) July 26, 2023
New York City Buildings Commissioner Jimmy Oddo identified New York Crane & Equipment Corp as the company that operated the crane.
Records show the company was involved in two deadly collapses in Manhattan 15 years ago.
The company was previously charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in connection with a collapse in May 2008 that resulted in two deaths at East 91st Street and 1st Avenue. The company and its then-owner, James Lomma, were found not guilty in 2012.
The company was also involved in a crane collapse in March 2008 at East 51st Street and 2nd Avenue that killed seven people.
ABC News’ Jared Kofsky contributed to this report.
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