5/30/2008 10:02:00 AM

At Least One Dead In 2nd Crane Collapse In 2.5 Months

Posted by Mark McCray |

David Schoetz and Richard Esposito:

A construction crane toppled onto a New York City street this morning, killing at least two people after ripping open the side of a 23-story apartment building.

At least 100 firefighters and rescue personnel were sifting through the debris for possible victims. At least one person was seen being carried from the site alive.

"It was like a big crash coming down. A big noise. A lot of debris crashing hitting, coming down," construction worker Vincent Rosado told WABC-TV in New York.

The crane collapsed around 8 a.m. at East 91st Street and First Avenue, crashing more than a dozen stories to the ground, swiping a high-rise apartment and leaving a twisted pile of crane and apartment wreckage.

A second construction worker was reportedly injured in the collapse. The person's condition is unclear.

The apartments on the top floors of the damaged high-rise were being searched for additional victims.

The accident occurred less then three months after another construction crane fell in Manhattan, killing seven and demolishing a townhouse.

Patricia Lancaster, the city's building inspector, resigned under fire from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- as well as city residents -- for a spike in the number of construction-related fatalities.

Scott Stringer, the Manhattan Borough president, told ABC News that he is stunned.

"I am at a loss for the fact that we have just utterly failed to get our arms around a safety regimen the protects people in this borough."

City crane inspector Edward Marquette was arrested for allegedly falsifying an inspection of the crane 11 days before the March collapse. Marquette has not responded to the complaint.

According to the Department of Buildings, there were eight crane-related accidents and 10 crane-related injuries in 2007 in New York City. There have already been 13 construction-related deaths in 2008 in the city.

I will be keeping the victims in my prayers. This kind of senseless tragedy needs to stop. Hopefully someone can do something about it before even more people have to lose their lives.

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