NYC crane collapse: Witness is 'lucky to be alive'

Sammy Mohamed says he is lucky to be alive.  

He is a carpenter and was working inside the building yesterday with dozens of construction workers.  

"I was on the top level. We were getting ready for the pour. They were pouring concrete," Mohamed said.

Suddenly, at about 7:30 in the morning, the crane’s engine compartment caught fire 45 stories above 10th Avenue and 41st Street.  

"I was running down the stairs and when I got to maybe the 30th floor or the 35th floor I heard a real big bang."

That bang was the crane’s boom snapping, hitting another building, and crashing to the ground.     


NYC crane collapse: Hell's Kitchen streets remain closed amid cleanup

At least 12 people were injured when the arm of the crane fell 45 stories to the New York City street below.

The crane operator emptied 2 fire extinguishers trying to put out the fire, but the flames were overpowering, and he had to escape.   

Officials say the hydraulic line ruptured while hoisting a 16-ton load of concrete.  

Crews were on the scene this afternoon removing the boom.    

Records show that New York Crane and Equipment Corporation, which owns the crane, was involved in 2 fatal collapses in 2008.    


Construction crane catches fire, partially collapses in Hell’s Kitchen

The crane is located on the west side of Manhattan, around W 41st St. and 10th Avenue, near Hudson Yards.

The construction company building this skyscraper, Monadnock Construction, issued a statement saying: 

"Safety is a priority… at this and every project. We are fully cooperating with all regulatory agencies and are available for any assistance that is needed."

Several blocks along 10th Avenue remain closed to traffic and the Yotel Hotel, right next to the crane accident, is closed indefinitely Ian Lorenzi and his girlfriend had reservations and just arrived this afternoon from Puerto Rico. 

"I don’t get any emails or nothing, any message for cancelation. Nothing," Lorenzi said.