At least six injured after New York City construction crane partially collapses during fire

Part of construction crane sitting atop Manhattan high-rise fell onto a nearby building on Wednesday

Ariana Baio,Kelly Rissman
Wednesday 26 July 2023 16:23 BST

Moment crane collapses in middle of Manhattan after catching fire

A construction crane sitting 45 stories atop a building in the Hell’s Kitchen neighbourhood of New York City caught fire and partially collapsed on Wednesday morning.

Around 7.30am, a fire broke out on the arm of a crane located on a building under construction near Tenth Avenue and West 41st Street.

Photos and videos taken from the incident showed the crane ablaze for several moments with dark, thick smoke billowing from it.

Officials said the operator was using the crane to lift 16 tonnes of concrete when he saw the blaze and tried to extinguish it.

But the blaze weakened the cable holding the concrete and moments later the arm of the crane gave way and crashed into the building next to it and then onto the street.

As it fell, people standing beneath the crane ran frantically for safety as fragments showered down. Four civilians and two firefighters sustained minor injuries, New York City officials said in a press conference on Wednesday.

Firefighters in the FDNY, police and authorities responded quickly to the fire and arrived on the scene to put out the flames.

Mayor Eric Adams’ office tweeted urging people to avoid Tenth and Eleventh Avenue from West 41st Street to West 42nd Street.

Officials conducted evacuations of residents in nearby buildings and construction workers who were working on the building.

Luckily no deaths occurred in the incident and only four civilians were minorly injured. The crane operator also managed to get away safely.

“This could have been much worse,” Mr Adams said in the press briefing after. He added that there weren’t more injuries, given that the concrete spread over such a large area when it hit the ground.

Debris from the construction crane that collapsed in Manhattan, New York lies on the street on 26 July

Officials said they plan to investigate those involved in the crane’s operation to understand how the fire broke out and why it collapsed.

They said they believe the fire weakened the crane’s cable causing the collapse.

A planned investigation will also assess the structural integrity of the building that was under construction when it was struck by the crane.

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