Construction cranes are as much a part of life in New York City as subways, theaters and bodegas. The never-ending construction and repair means that somewhere in NYC, there’s a crane being used.
Just this past July, two crane accidents involving cranes run by one company that resulted in a fatality and other injuries caused the city to close down 22 construction sites. The Department of Buildings issued five violations, and the company may be facing fines of as much as $110K. Construction deaths have increased this year, even after the City mandated 40 hours of safety training in 2017.
But New York is no stranger to crane accidents. As much as companies work towards safety, dangerous crane accidents still happen.
October 7, 2007
Eight people were injured as a five-foot bucket from a construction crane bounced off a mid-town high rise office building as it was being used to bring something to the roof, smashing windows. Shards of glass rained down on the lunchtime crowd.
December 15, 2007
A seven-ton load of metal studs fell after the nylon sling hauling it broke. The load fell and seriously injured an architect in a nearby construction trailer. The accident happened at a new planned location for Goldman Sachs, a 43-story building near Battery Park.
March 15, 2008
A support strap snapped while riggers lifting a six-ton steel collar, collapsing the crane and destroying a brownstone. Six workers and a tourist were killed, 24 people were injured, and 18 homes in the area were evacuated.
Two people are killed after a 200-foot-tall rig snapped apart. The crane’s owner, James Lomma, and his two companies, were tried and acquitted on manslaughter and other charges. Prosecutors charged Lomma after he and his mechanic hired a cut-rate Chinese welding company online to repair the turntable, which helps upper parts of the rig swivel. Lomma also failed to follow city inspectors’ requirements for the repair, which was needed after the crane was struck by lightning. The welding was too weak and defective to handle the crane’s work, the prosecutors said.
The crane was beginning work on the 14th floor of an intended 32-story apartment building when the top portions of the rig dropped off, collided into a building across the street and plunged to the ground. Lomma was indicted but acquitted for failing to do proper repairs.
October 29, 2012
During preparations for Hurricane Sandy, an 850-foot high crane snapped in mid-air, sending large pieces flying to the ground below. High winds of 80-100 mph caused the crane to wave back and forth, which eventually caused it to snap. Bystanders heard the metal crunching as it broke, and the top of the crane hung dangerously downward. The crane had just been inspected the Friday before. Miraculously, no one was injured.
November 26, 2012
Just a month after Sandy, a crane lifting heavy AC units in Hell’s Kitchen collapsed onto the flatbed truck that it was loading. Although this was the second crane accident in a month’s time, no one was injured in this incident, either.
January 29, 2013
A crane in Long Island City leased from James Lomma’s company collapsed. Three workers were pinned and four others injured in the incident. Later in the month, the crane’s operator and a subcontractor were each fined $64,000 and issued five citations, and the operator’s license was suspended.
May 31, 2015
A crane in midtown hoisting HVAC units lost a unit when the cable holding it snapped. The unit fell 30 stories to the ground, injuring eight pedestrians and two construction workers.
February 5, 2016
A 600-foot “crawler crane” crashed to the ground in lower Manhattan, killing one person sitting in a parked car and injuring three others. The crane’s fall and crash was due to high winds, and captured on video. Police were moving people away from the area so that crews could secure it when the accident happened.
New York City Crane Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured by a crane at or near a construction site, our Greenwich Village injury lawyers are here to help. We have considerable experience with construction site and crane accidents, as well as other types of personal injury cases.