A construction crane caught fire in New York City, causing its arm to snap off. Six people were injured.
The crane collapsed above Manhattan's West Side on Wednesday morning, hitting a nearby building before falling to the street. Four civilians and two firefighters who were struck by the falling debris suffered minor injuries, the mayor of New York City said.
"Thanks to the rapid response and quick thinking of our firefighters and first responders, we were able to evacuate buildings and bring the fire that broke out on the crane under control," Mayor Eric Adams said. "Lives were saved, and our streets are protected thanks to them."
At approximately 7:25 a.m., authorities reported that a crane that was about 45 stories above the ground caught fire in its engine compartment.
I just came from the scene of the crane collapse in midtown.— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) July 26, 2023
Four civilians and two firefighters sustained minor injuries from the debris that fell below following the crane collapse.
A full investigation into how this happened is underway. pic.twitter.com/0Ofgmhx49t
"This could have been a lot worse," said Joseph Pfeifer, the first deputy commissioner for the Fire Department of New York, adding that the crane's arm was carrying a 16-ton load of concrete when it collapsed.
The crane operator at the time of the incident tried to put out the fire but had to run to safety as the fire continued to spread, Pfeifer said.
"As the fire heats the cable, the cable weakens to a point where it loses its strength, and that’s where the collapse occurred," said Pfeifer.
Authorities say the cause of the fire is being investigated. The structural stability of the building that is being built, which is expected to be 54 stories high, will also be investigated.