Paterson, Bloomberg Address Crane Collapse

crane Paterson, Bloomberg Address Crane CollapseGovernor Paterson and Mayor Bloomberg spoke at a hastily organized press conference scheduled for 11:15 a.m. at the site of this morning’s crane collapse on the Upper East Side.

This morning, a crane at the site of the Azure condop development at First Avenue and 91st Street tumbled onto the building across the street, damaging it from the 20th floor to the Duane Reade on the ground floor, and killing at least one person (if not two, depending on reports).

Here are some of Mayor Bloomberg’s remarks, via The New York Times:

"At about 8 this morning the top part of the crane snapped off and fell against the building across the street. It looks like, at the moment, there is one casualty — one fatality — and two very seriously injured. All three of them are males who are construction workers. There was one pedestrian who was hurt, but a very minor injury and was treated – perhaps been related by now — at Metropolitan Hospital. We don’t know why it snapped off and we will certainly do an investigation. Our first concern is to stabilize the area. We have evacuated seven buildings, and I will give you their addresses in a moment, just as a precaution because the vertical part of the crane is still standing up and we want to make sure that that is totally stable. Sometime later today, although it could go into tomorrow depending on what the engineers find, we will let people go back into those seven buildings and into the building where the cab crashed…. In that line of the building there was damage to those apartments, but there was apparently no one injured in that building."

…"We will release later today all of the records of any complaints about the buildings and any stop-work orders. A crane was stepped over the weekend. They were fully in compliance with building regulations. They did have on-site a building inspector and it was done properly. The sweep that we did of all the cranes in the city after the last crane collapse, on the East Side in the 50s, did not include this crane because this crane hadn’t been erected at that time. But the first examination of the records indicates that this crane was inspected and installed and stepped in compliance with regulations… So we don’t know why the top just snapped off."

For his part, Governor Patterson said:

"Our thoughts and sympathy and prayers go out to the family of the construction worker killed, and two construction workers who are in serious condition as we speak. This is a terrible tragedy. Witnesses to the incident, I’m informed by Borough President Stringer, who got here pretty quickly, were very, very laudatory about the Office of Emergency Management and all the services that the mayor’s office provided."

We will continue to blog about this throughout the day. Here’s our prior coverage.

Meanwhile, Curbed has compiled a list of recent crane disasters, including, of course, the March 15 collapse on East 51st Street that killed seven people and led to Buildings Commissioner Patricia Lancaster’s resignation.