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Engineers: Wind Gusts Likely Major Factor In Midtown Crane Collapse

The tower crane next to the One57 residential building dangles as Hurricane Sandy approaches on Oct. 29, 2012. (credit: Sonia Rincon/1010 WINS)

The tower crane next to the One57 residential building dangles as Hurricane Sandy approaches on Oct. 29, 2012. (credit: Sonia Rincon/1010 WINS)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- City officials said a strong wind gust during superstorm Sandy likely was a major factor in damaging a giant construction crane working on a luxury Midtown Manhattan high-rise.

The rig’s arm dangled precariously and forced evacuations in the thick of the storm. Officials concluded the hanging arm is stable for now.

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City Buildings Department chief spokesman Tony Sclafani said Tuesday the investigation is just starting. Engineers believe wind gusts estimated at 80 to 100 mph played a big role. They also will look at how the crane was positioned and other issues.

Engineers climbed the 74-story building in the midst of the storm to inspect the crane.

Some neighboring buildings were evacuated, including a hotel with 900 guests.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)