Collapsed Tower Crane ‘secure’ but removal may take weeks

Following the path of destruction left by Hurricane Sandy on the Eastern Seaboard, officials in New York City are securing options from top safety experts in the crane industry to determine the best course of action for removal of the collapsed boom dangling from a Tower Crane atop the One57 skyscraper construction site.

According to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, “the Department of Buildings has determined that the crane is currently stable,” but winds remain too high for work to be done on securing the boom, and more than 1000 residents have had to be evacuated from surrounding buildings, as well as from several nearby hotels that have been closed.

“The procedure there when the winds die down will be to get the boom and strap it to the building,” he said, adding that “the contracting company will have to figure out ways to build a new crane on top and take that one down.”

While it does appear that precautions ahead of the storm were followed and the crane was set to the “weather vane” position, allowing the crane to turn in the direction of heavy wind, instead of snapping, this technique is limited to approximately 100 mph winds and the 90-story height of the construction project may have exacerbated the situation with increased vulnerability.

Construction and City officials estimate that it could take several weeks to securely remove the dangling crane, and the first step will be to send engineers up to the crane as soon as winds calm to less than 30 mph.

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