NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Crews were working on the West Side of Manhattan on Tuesday after two steel beams were knocked over by a crane at a construction site at 39th Street and 12th Avenue.
The Department of Buildings was notified just before 10 a.m. that at least one piece of steel had dropped. The incident startled people in the area.
“The first thing I’m thinking is there are so many pedestrians walking across the street, imagine if the scaffolding wasn’t there to catch it. Imagine if scaffolding would’ve collapsed. There’s a lot of danger,” said Anthony Nolasco, who works across the street.
No injuries were reported, but video shows the beams leaning precariously over the cracked scaffolding, which was at risk of collapsing under its own weight.
Police shut down the entire area as crews worked to secure the structure and at least one nearby building was evacuated, scaring tourists on the 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
“When you’re not from this country and you see a lot of action, it could be anything,” Cheh Richmond said. “Of course, with it being today, i suppose it worries people.”
Inspectors with the Department of Buildings said a crane at the site was hoisting one beam when the load knocked over a second upright beam, toppling it over and onto the sidewalk shed.
The West Side Highway was closed down for hours from 34th Street to 42nd Street, creating a traffic nightmare through the evening rush.
“There’s a lot of traffic backed up a pretty good ways back,” one driver said.
“I’ve been in this traffic for like 30 minutes,” another said.
Three out of four westbound lanes had reopened by midnight, with the remaining lane expected to be reopened well before the morning commute.