Breaking: Crane Collapses in Lower Manhattan, One Reported Dead

A major crane collapse has been reported on Worth Street in Lower Manhattan.    

The crane reportedly crushed several cars parked just outside a Weill Cornell medical facility. 

During a press conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the crane was being lowered into a more a secure position out of harm's way, per city regulations, when the accident occurred. One man was killed while sitting in a parked car, while three so far have been injured. Traffic and pedestrians are being kept away from the site while the fire department continues to sweep buildings. Con Edison has turned off the gas in most nearby buildings as a precaution. The gas leak issue will be resolved by the early afternoon, de Blasio said. He added that the area will be cut off from the public for several days.

Even though the wind has not reached levels otherwise necessary to shut down cranes across the city, the mayor is still taking precautions. The crane that collapsed was a "crawler crane," which is a smaller type of crane than a "tower crane." Those operating the 376 crawler cranes around the city have been instructed to secure them. The 43 tower cranes in the city have also been ordered to be put into a secure position immediately.

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"It was something of a miracle there wasn't more impact," de Blasio said. Given that the accident occurred during rush hour, it could have been worse, he added.

This has been the first crane collapse in the city since 2008. Since then, a number of precautions have been put in place that have been effective in stopping this kind of problem — the very reason the crane this morning was being lowered to a secure position. De Blasio said there will be a full investigation into what went wrong that will lead to other changes going forward.

De Blasio's office released more information about the crane, which is owned by Bay Crane and operated by Galasso Trucking and Rigging Inc. The crane has been in the area since January 30, doing work on Hudson Street. Department of Buildings inspected the crane yesterday at 6:20 a.m. and found no issues.

NBC has obtained footage of the crane collapse from a skyscraper window: 

We will update this post as we learn more.

As of 8:45 a.m., all 1, 2, and 3 trains in both directions were delayed and being rerouted — passing the Chambers Street and Franklin Street stations without stopping because of this morning's collapse. 

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