Tuesday, June 2, 2015
That A/C was too heavy to lift
The mammoth 23,000-pound air conditioner that broke free from a crane and smashed into a midtown high-rise did more than just leave a gaping hole in the its facade.
The NYPD special operations team released photos that reveal the massive damage it did inside the building. The cooling unit was too heavy for the building’s floor to support, which caused it to bounce from the 29th to 11th floor.
Ten people were injured in the accident, including two traffic agents and a firefighter.
Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler said the crane was in working condition at the time of the accident.
The crane was being operated by Greenpoint-based Skylift Contractor Corp but is owned by Queens-based Bay Crane, which have previously been rocked by scandal.
The buildings department cited a Skylift crane operator after he failed to secure a crane owned by bay crane, causing it to collapse at a financial district construction site in the middle of the night.
A day after a crane dropped a 23,000-pound air conditioner 30 stories onto a midtown sidewalk, one city official is charging that more could have been done to prevent the accident.
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer said nearly eight years after the city Department of Buildings spent more than $5 million on a study to make construction sites safer, the department has failed to implement many of the safety reforms recommended in the report.
In an interview with the I-Team, Stringer said the Department of Buildings has had years to implement simple reforms like installing so-called “black boxes” in cranes and hanging better protective netting around construction sites. But those recommendations still have not been implemented.
“Since we've issued our audit, nothing has changed nothing has happened," Stringer said of his 2014 audit. “I'm urging the Department of Buildings to dust off their own report and look at our audit and figure out are we doing enough to ensure safety of our citizens."