If miracles are real, then one was witnessed on Wednesday, when a 380-foot crane descended towards earth crashing onto a Queens, New York construction site -- and although no deaths or serious life threatening injuries were reported, seven hurt construction workers were rushed to the hospital – details of their injuries remain undisclosed.
Fire Chief Mark Ferran said three workers were trapped under the crane, but were not seriously injured.
48-year-old Preston White, a carpenter working at the site, emotionally and graphically described how a cable attached to the crane suddenly snapped causing its decent, “I turned around, and I could see it recoiling, people were running, I was close to death.”
Another worker Russell Roberson, 32, described how the crane came down fast and all he could hear were other workers yelling to run. “You didn’t know which way the thing was going to go,” said Roberson. According to Roberson, there were approximately 70 people working at the site, which further adds to the miracle of no one seriously injured or killed.
A similar incident occurred last April, when a crane nearly the same make and model as the one which came crashing down on Wednesday, also collapsed at the MTA’s No. 7 subway job site -- killing one worker.
[ Related: Worker killed, 4 hurt in NYC crane collapse ]
Wednesday’s accident happened only months after back in April, 2012, Mayor Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Holloway and Buildings Commissioner Limandri announced in a press release, strict new licensing and testing requirements for all crane operators in New York City. The measures were to improve construction safety with tougher, modernized national exams, new training courses and mandated re-testing every five years.
The crane, which was approved for use by the city back in October, is leased by subcontractor Cross Country Construction, but owned by New York Crane company whose owner James Lomma, was acquitted of criminally negligent homicide when in 2008 one of his cranes collapsed -- killing four on New York’s upper East Side.
[ Related: Crane Collapses on Manhattan’s East Side, Killing 4 ]