NYC tower crane collapse investigated

08 May 2008

A 15 March tower crane collapse on 51st Street in New York City, US killed seven and injured several construction workers and residents in nearby buildings.

Investigations, made by the City of New York Buildings Department and the Department of Investigation, into the cause of the accident focused on failed slings used while workers attempted to further secure the tower crane to the building to enable it to work higher, according to news reports.

Following the accident New York City officials began an effort to inspect every tower crane in operation in the city.

It was also reported that the Building Trades Employers' Association and the Building and Construction Trades Council would hire a safety consultant to evaluate crane installation procedures. The organizations called for the inspection of all construction sites using cranes in NYC.

According to news reports this was the worst construction site accident for several years. In November 2006 a tower crane working in Bellevue, Washington State, collapsed, killing a resident in a nearby building. That accident, determined to be caused by an insufficient foundation, spurred action by Washington State officials to quickly pass more stringent crane inspection and crane operator certification laws.

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