Quinn Demands Construction, Crane Regulations Be Required For MTA Projects

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has ordered inspections of cranes at all its work sites after a crane collapse killed a construction worker Tuesday and injured four others.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell: Snapped Cable Believed To Be At Fault

The MTA said Wednesday that all work on the site of the crane collapse has been suspended until further notice as officials from the Department of Buildings, OSHA, NYPD and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office investigate.

An inspection on the crane involved in Tuesday’s accident could not be completed on Jan. 10 because the rig was in operation at the time, the Associated Press reported. The follow-up inspection was due to be conducted this Thursday.

A closer look at some of the damage to the crane. (credit: Juliet Papa/1010 WINS)

The 170-foot crane boom collapsed at a construction site of the MTA’s 7 line subway extension project at the corner of 34th Street and 11th Avenue on Tuesday evening when investigators say the crane cable snapped.

The top of the boom fell onto a concrete structure. Other pieces buckled under, crushing 30-year-old Michael Simmermeyer, who was working inside the pit 60 feet below street level, and injuring four other hardhats.

“I heard a snap, and I looked up, and I seen the boom of the crane starting to fold up and come down,” witness Dennis Ryncarz said.

A second crane at the scene was used to lower specially-trained FDNY rescuers into the pit to reach and remove the victims. Emergency crews pulled Simmermeyer from the pit, but he died on the way to the hospital.

Construction workers who worked with Simmermeyer remembered him as a “great guy” when they spoke Wednesday morning.

“One of the nicest guys I’ve ever worked with,” construction worker Joe Travers said.

1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports

Standing at the site where the crane collapsed, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said Wednesday that the crane should have been inspected by city inspectors, but “state regulations presently preclude the city from having oversight at MTA construction sites, making it impossible for us to ensure safety regulations of the City of New York, making it impossible to make sure that those New York City safety regulations are upheld to the highest standard.”

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb With Christine Quinn: City Doesn’t Have Oversight Over MTA Projects

“I’ve been informed that city officials who were invited on to the site after the incident found conditions that they believe would have been violations of New York City rules — things like an unsecure perimeter, which would put workers walking over the pit of the work in real danger,” Quinn said.

Quinn added if city laws had been enforced, the MTA would have been required to submit an engineer’s report prior to using the crane.

The Port Authority has agreed to adhere to city regulations, Quinn said.

The MTA released a statement saying:

“The entire MTA family would like to extend our sincerest condolences to the family of the worker who lost his life as a result of this tragic accident. We at the MTA grieve for this loss and vow to do everything we can to ensure that everyone working on projects to better the lives of all New Yorkers can do so as safely as possible.”

Ryncarz, who was unloading cars for this weekend’s auto show at the Javitz Center, said he heard the cable snap then saw the crane plummet nearly 200 feet.

“We jumped up on top of the wall and looked and we could see one guy underneath the boom,” he told CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider. “Everybody was trying to hover around him, but they couldn’t do nothing. They couldn’t lift the boom off of him.”

Please share your thoughts below…

Comments (18)
  1. Craig Ferguson says:

    Patrick McGarrigle the inspector and crane director of the NYC DOB should be fired. McGarrigle messed up the crane inspect in 2008 and now in 2012. How many chances doe McGarrigle get?

  2. Local113ShovelLeaners says:

    Will this interfere with the lunchtime drinking?

    1. Frank BASILE says:

      Never drank never all jobs I been on if you lean on shovel you loss you job I sure you saw goof on jobs but tell me what you do I it will be easy to point a figure at you job or what you do be for you judge somebody walk in there shoes be for you throw stones

      1. Frank BASILE says:

        Sorry I did spell check typing fast on a tiny phone but if that you complant and don,t understand what I,m trying to say you would never get my point any way .peace and love

  3. Robert Moses says:

    While I like that high-paying construction jobs are reserved exclusively for suburbanites (a/k/a REAL Americans), an even better approach would be to SHUT DOWN the subway system instead of expanding it.

  4. Tommy says:

    Construction is, has always been, and always will be a dangerous business. Just like commercial fishing, logging, mining, etc. there will always be accidents despite the best efforts of everyone to work safely. Accidents happen, people get hurt and sometimes people die. Last year 5 construction workers died on the job in NYC. Although it should never be considered “acceptable”, deaths do and will occur in construction and 5 people in NYC in a year is a much smaller number than years ago.

  5. Frank basile says:

    I been in carpenters union 20 year been in very dangerese spots in building under building doing foundations bridge and road work with out union and regulations and people like OSHA to protect contractors take every short cut to save money and it get a lot of people killed seading in unskill labor and not useing or have the proper safety gear make more people getting killed this is america were unlike some country we should look out for all our people enough of the anyo union bs even people that are not part a uniion get protection , greed and money would have people working for bread crumbs in even more unsafe conditions with out any protection frank basile any problems or questions call me 347453 7007 I have a life time of story to back it up

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hum make me think why are there so many accidents when our Mayor Doomberg is in charge.
    I know other mayors that were in office and I have not seen so many accidents while they were in office.
    Oh right he has the hands off approach and hires incompetent people to do the job.

    1. Steve from Brooklyn says:

      WTF are you talking about?? I don’t think the mayor hires Contractors. I guess you need someone to hold your hand and help you cross the street

  7. what union were these workers a part of?

    1. Michael H. says:

      clearly the union had everything to do with a cable snapping.

      1. It doesn’t – I’m just wondering.

    2. Steve from Brooklyn says:

      The Union of Concerened Scientists I’m sure.

      1. LeftWingLiberalObamaLover says:

        Spell much?

  8. goblin says:

    I thought with all of these new construction laws and permits regarding cranes and this being a UNION job, we would no longer have these issue.

    Maybe we need more laws and permits.

    1. Steve from Brooklyn says:

      What does laws,permits and Construction Unions have to do with an cable snapping? Accidents happen. If anything being a Union job makes it all that much safer. Non-union jobs people get killed everyday like the job in Brooklyn

      1. goblin says:

        Where were the safety inspections of the cables?

  9. Peter Goldman says:

    Any info on the condition/ operational status of the crane? Would like to know in case I need one in the near future. Especially if there is already an ongoing shortage of them.

Leave a Reply