MIAMI (CBSNewYork/AP) — A pair of construction cranes collapsed Sunday in downtown Miami amid strong winds from Hurricane Irma.

The first crane collapsed just before 11 a.m. at a building on Biscayne Boulevard in a bayfront area filled with hotels and high-rise condo and office buildings, near American Airlines Arena, according to a tweet from the City of Miami.

“A tower crane has collapsed on top of a high rise under construction,” the tweets said. “AVOID THE AREA!!”

The National Weather Service Miami office also said in a tweet that one of its employees witnessed the “crane boom and counterweight collapse in downtown Miami.” The employee captured video of the collapse.

A crane tower is seen after part of it collapsed from the winds of Hurricane Irma on Sept. 10, 2017, in Miami. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

In another tweet, officials urged people in buildings facing the crane to “seek shelter on the opposite side” of the building or in a stairwell.

The second collapse occurred in a large development in Miami, according to a local official. It wasn’t immediately clear whether either of the collapses caused damage or injuries.

Emergency personnel were unable to respond because of high winds, Miami-Dade County Director of Communications Mike Hernandez said.

Though Miami is far from Irma’s landfall in the Florida Keys, winds from the 400-mile-wide storm were blasting through the metro area. The city was under a tornado watch Sunday.

Two dozen tower cranes working on construction sites throughout the city were a concern ahead of Irma. Moving the massive equipment, weighing up to 30,000 pounds, is a slow process that would have taken about two weeks, according to city officials.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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