Manhattan crane malfunction left load hanging more than 400 feet in air

Posted at 3:20 PM, Oct 07, 2013
By Allie Malloy and Julian Cummings


NEW YORK (CNN) — A crane’s load at a Manhattan skyscraper is back on the ground after a mechanical failure left it suspended more than 400 feet above West 57th Street.

The hoisting equipment for a tower crane at the site of One57 — a future residential building — malfunctioned Monday morning, according to Kelly Magee, a spokeswoman for New York City’s Department of Buildings.

A 7-ton counterweight was being lifted when a mechanical failure occurred at the top of the crane, leaving the counterweight stuck 429 feet in the air, according to a spokesman at the Office of Emergency Management.

The crane failed to get the load it was carrying to the top of the high rise, and as a result, crane operators had to manually bring it back down, according to New York Police Det. Marc Nell.

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for the mid-Atlantic region, which includes New York City, until 5 p.m. ET Monday, creating more concern about lowering the hanging counterweight before the storms arrived.

Fifty-seventh Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues was reopened shortly after the counterweight reached the ground.

One57 is the same site of a separate crane incident during Superstorm Sandy last October, when a crane boom was left hanging. The crane that malfunctioned Monday is not the same one that was affected in the storm, according to a spokesman at the Office of Emergency Management.

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