The Tappan Zee Bridge became a parking lot when a construction crane collapsed on the span injuring five people, shutting down traffic and trapping motorists for hours.
The mid-Hudson mess began shortly after noon when the crane in place to help build a long-awaited replacement bridge slammed across seven lanes of the crossing, damaging the busy bridge and shutting it down for hours in both directions.
“We don’t know exactly what caused the malfunction,” Gov. Cuomo said after being briefed on the incident. “Sometimes equipment breaks and sometimes accidents happen. As simplistic as that sounds sometimes that’s all there is to it.”
Cuomo said the crane was sitting on the deck of the bridge under construction and was carrying a vibratory hammer when it collapsed. He said the crane and the hammer were being used to drive pilings into earth, a routine construction procedure.
“When the crane collapsed it went across both sides of what we call the old Tappan Zee Bridge,” Cuomo told reporters with the bridge in the background. “Two cars had minor accidents in avoiding the falling crane, but miraculously there were no serious injuries whatsoever. No vehicle actually hit the crane. The traffic wasn’t that heavy. We were very, very fortunate that the situation wasn’t worse.”
At least three drivers and two bridge workers were injured. None of their injuries are life-threatening.