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In New York City, construction boom poses dangers to residents

Last Friday morning, individuals who were in lower Manhattan near Worth St. and West Broadway felt the earth shake as a towering 565 foot crane toppled to the ground. According to The New York Times, the collapse occurred as construction workers, who were concerned about high wind conditions, attempted to bring down and secure the crane’s boom.

As several tons of metal rained down on buildings, cars and pedestrians; witnesses feared that a bomb had gone off. One 38-year-old man was killed in the accident and three others suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Additionally, the falling crane damaged water and gas lines in the area which prompted Mayor Bill de Blasio to order that gas service to the area be shut off to prevent fires or explosions.

Last Friday's crane collapse was just the most-recent reminder of the numerous hazards that the city's current building boom presents to residents, commuters and tourists alike. While investigators from the police department and Buildings Department continue to investigate what factors may have contributed to this accident, Crain's New York reported that the company that owns the equipment was also involved in a crane accident last year in which seven people were injured.

Friday's accident again raised doubts about the Buildings Department's ability to enforce building regulations and inspect construction sites. However, a spokesperson for the Buildings Department was quick to note that "there is more oversight of cranes in place than ever before."

Individuals who suffer injury or harm due to the negligent acts of construction companies and crews may be able to recover damages related to their losses. An attorney who handles personal injury matters can answer questions and fight to recover compensation.

Source: Crain's New York Business, "Crane collapse kills one, equipment owner linked to other accidents," Joe Anuta, Feb. 5, 2016

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