A crane operator and a contractor didn’t inspect equipment, failed to take proper precautions and ran the rig unsafely before it collapsed while building a New York City apartment tower and injured seven construction workers, officials said Wednesday.
The crane that collapsed across a building in Long Island City, Queens on Wednesday afternoon was attempting to lift more than twice as much weight as was approved, according to a preliminary investigation from the city’s Buildings Department.
The homes slated to be bulldozed suffered severe structural damage due to flooding and the high winds from Sandy, according to city officials.
The incident took place at around 9 a.m. at 214 Carlton Ave., in the Clinton Hill, where a new four-story building was being built.
While the storm was fast-moving, it did cause damage in the form of downed trees and power lines. In the aftermath of the weather, a number of roads are closed and area airports are still experiencing delays.
Hundreds of people also demanded answers at a meeting Tuesday night after a week of living in hotels or staying with family. However, the property owner, Goldfarb Properties, was not present.
The City Council is holding an oversight hearing Monday afternoon to examine elevator safety and hear testimony from Department of Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri.
“There were five men working on the roofing project at this stage. We believe that three were carrying material or working on the roof at the time,” said Commissioner Robert LiMandri.
Dozens of rescue crews were called to the scene after part of an old warehouse at Broadway and West 131st Street in Morningside Heights crumbled just before 8 a.m. Thursday, according to the FDNY.
The influx of illegal apartments has become such a problem that the DOB has gone undercover, looking for and busting illegal apartments. The city agency has agents who set up sting operations—part of an ongoing enforcement action.