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tv   Today  NBC  February 5, 2016 10:00am-11:00am EST

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a building at 56 hudson street in lower manhattan and we looked up some of our archives and have a full screen here of some of the incidents that have been recorded in the past. bay crane was investigated in 2010 and that was because of an incident where a crane collapsed on top of a building in lower manhattan 80 maiden lane. that happened to have been also the building where the department of investigation is located. just this past summer there was an accident in midtown where a crane was hoisting an air conditioning unit on top of a building near 38th street when
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it weighed about 23,000 pounds. 42,000 penalties. we did reach out to bay crane about 15 minutes ago, called the company and they declined to comment, saying there was nothing they could tell us at that point, but this is a company with a checkered history. we're piecing this information together as i'm speaking, so we're waiting for information to come in from different agencies and sources. we hope to be able to update you with more detailed information about the crane operator at this time, but that's the latest from the newsroom. back to you guys. >> before you go, i have a question. when it comes to the company owning the crane and the operator, do we know who chooses the operator? something you could go and rent a crane?
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in crane rentals and transportation solutions, so are they connected? does one company choose the other? how does this work or do we know at this point? >> i know they are separate entities, so a crane owner has their own responsibilities and inspected for their own things they are responsible for, then the crane operator is also held up to different standards and their own responsibilities, as well. we don't know who the crane operator was in this case, by all accounts seems this crane snapped and fell directly on top of someone who happened to be standing on that street. hence the one person that has died as a result, and as you can see in these pictures and videos we're seeing, the crane also crushed cars parked on the side. >> all right, we appreciate your
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will check in with you in a bit. we have the latest at this hour, one person killed when that crane collapsed around 8:30 this morning. as we mentioned, one person died, sources telling news 4 the victim was a pedestrian, we're hearing a man. at least two others seriously hurt, one in critical condition. >> police have set up barricades around the scene, causing major traffic backups in the area. >> mayor de blasio is headed to the scene, expected to talk in about the next half hour. as soon as he does begin to speak, we'll certainly bring you the latest as he assesses the damage and situation, as well. >> if you're just joining us, it is 10:03 on this friday morning, about an hour and a half ago near the address 40 worth street in lower manhattan, a massive
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dead, two people injured, one seriously. lots of damage in lower manhattan. you can see the crane flattening several cars, took down parts of the facade of the building, as well. we understand they are excavating and isolating a low pressure gas main, something that's used generally for cooking, for heating, they want to make the area safe so they are going to isolate the main so first responders can get in and do what they need to do without the concern about gas, but they are urging anyone in the lower manhattan neighborhood if you do smell natural gas, which tends to smell like rotten eggs, please call con ed. this is an emergency situation, so they are even encouraging if necessary to call 911 >> absolutely. as we take a look at live pictures, i want to give you a quick update, the 1 train is bypassing chambers and franklin and through the heart of the
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will be a mess for a long time as people have to reroute and divert themselves. northbound greenwich street closed at battery place, so if you're going to be driving or taking the train, it's worth checking before you head out. to reroute yourself and avoid this area. this is going to be a mess well into the day. the weather, of course, complicating at least a little bit, but you have to take care of the roads, they are slick and rain and snow is off and on, as well as the winds. as we take a look, this crane came down an hour and a half ago and one of the things we've been talking about this morning as we do this as they begin to figure out what happened and get this
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the street: . it is a bit of a different structure, if you will, of manhattan, especially midtown. >> very unique. >> hard for people to find a place to go and we talked with witnesses earlier who said they saw this thing buckle and heard it come down, sounded like an earthquake. we have amazing pictures of what this looks like from the ground and the crane came crashing down along the side of the road and across the street, as well. you can see it's not like it knocked a couple of bricks off, it took a good chunk of the facade. there's wires caught in this, as well. the i-team looking into the company that operates the crane, thus far they have given us a no comment, they answer, but not available to answer our questions, they answer the phone, i guess.
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pictures, these cars, some people have d to be pulled out. one person dead, two injured, one in critical condition, the other serious. this is the picture of the actual cab part of the crane we're not sure, but that's certainly been one of the things that investigators look at, did weather play a role, some sort of operator error, i don't believe it was in operation as this happened, but certainly they'll look into how it was secured. >> they sure will. you mention this company, bay crane, owns the crane, as far as who the operator was, we are not sure at this point. we spoke to our i-team just a moment ago, but it's believed this crane was working at 60 hudson street, which may be a residential building, but this crane company, the company that
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investigated in 2010. ac unit it dropped, 65 violations on bay crane in the past, thousands of penalties lodged against bay crane, as well. bay crane having no comment for us this morning, whether or not they were the operator or who the operator was, what company that was, that's not information we have at this point. we would love to get in touch with someone from the department of buildings, perhaps get them on the air, it would be great if they would call in and give us some answers.
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his way to the scene. heavy traffic on the northbound west side highway, as well, towards canal. lauren is asking viewers to avoid the holland tunnel if you can today. that's all jammed up coming in, 30 minutes into the tolls and she says it will likely get worse. we mention a lot of the subway stations, as well, 1, 2, 3 bypassing chambers, you can use the ac for chambers street or the r from city hall, 2 or the 3 from park place. franklin street being bypassed, as well. not as good at traffic as lauren skala is, but we appreciate her sending us that information. bottom line is, this is going to be a mess that's going to take at least the next few days to really get a handle on, but as far as how today is going when
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in that neighborhood, and the weather, i know how much is going to get done. >> quite a bit of investigation into what happened as they pinpoint who was operating it. as you pointed out earlier, not necessarily the same group of people that own it versus who's operating it, so a number of questions as far as that goes. they are going to have to figure out why it went down, whether it was weather related, if there was some sort of human error and that's going to take a while to pinpoint, as well. they are going to look at how it came down, specifically where it buckled. spoke with a witness a short while ago who was in the building right across from where the crane came down, she was at 40 worth street, which is kind of -- there's a bit of conflicting information as to what building specifically this crane was attached to, but nevertheless this witness was close and saw this thing buckle and come down. some of the pictures we're
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flipped on its top. you have to assume it was a substantial gust of wind that took it down, if, in fact, that was what it was. there's going to be a number of questions as we look at the debris, looks like it sheered off the front of the building as it came down. of course, you have the gas leak issue to talk about, as well. we spoke with a spokesperson from con ed who said they have to go in and shut off gas mains there to make sure it's safe for emergency crews to get in. there's a huge number of firefighters and police out on the scene, close to 200 at this point, trying to make sure people are safe. a lot of these buildings evacuated to this month, people are home, not at work anymore, which is good, makes their job, the emergency responders' job, a little easier as they are trying to get people safe. going to be a while looking for people and making sure things are secured and then comes the process of trying to get the streets clean.
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exactly happened, what caused this. talk about thg crane operator and whether or not we know who it is. we want to go back to the i-team with what is going on. >> the i-team has done some digging into the building's history and apparently 56 hudson street is the same as 60 hudson street and we have learned people in the neighborhood have said they call this the western union building, they've seen the crane lifting wood on top of the building and we've discovered that as recently as february 1st of this year they did have an inspection because it was based on a complaint. however, by the time the buildings department went to inspect it, there was no violation issued. so it's unclear exactly what was the nature of the complaint and what they discovered upon the inspection, but it's apparent no violations have been issued at the time.
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that building does have two open department of buildings violations, but they are related to the elevators and not related to the crane. that's the information we found so far, again, we are still trying to determine who the crane operator is. we did tell you that the crane owner was bay crane and we're still trying to ascertain more information as agencies are inspecting the site right now. we're expecting an update in about 15 minutes. if we have anything we'll bring it back to you. >> pei-sze cheng, quick question, to give viewers a bit of a back story about the crane company, you mentioned earlier when we spoke to you they have a checkered past. certainly seen a number of cases here in the city. >> yes, bay crane has been involved in some newsworthy incidents. back in 2010 a crane collapsed, happened in lower manhattan at 80 maiden lane, like we said earlier.
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that houses the department of investigation. the irony was not lost on investigators. and just this summer bay crane owned one of the cranes that collapsed in midtown while hoisting an air conditioning unit above the building and at that point that was when we did our i-team report and discovered that bay crane had been hit with 65 violations in the past and charged more than $42,000 in penalties. again, the involvement of the crane company in today's collapse we are not clear, like darlene said, nice if the buildings department would speak with us and get information as to what's going on with the investigation, but yes, it does have a checkered past and we are looking into that. >> very good, see you in a bit. >> we want to head to the phone again, bob gannly on the phone right now, vice president of the
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is it okay if i call you sergeant gannly? >> you can call me bob. >> all right, thank you so much for joining us this morning. we understand one person killed this morning, two injured seriously. tell us what you know. >> it is directly in front of our offices here at 35 morris. this morning about 8:20, 8:25 i heard a commotion, got up, looked out the window and saw the crane on its way down. >> you saw it coming down? >> yes. >> what did you see? >> surreal, couldn't believe it was happening. then when the crane came down it was automatic response by people in the building, we waited the emergency service team coming, fdny, just trying to get people in a safe haven and tend to any first aid we could to people.
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ed mullands, president of the sbca, one of the members was there and placed a blanket over the body of the person who was killed in the accident. do you know anything about that? >> yeah, we went out with a first aid kit. at the time we didn't know if he was deceased or not because there was a person in a vehicle right in front of him where he was, that was alive and the crane had collapsed on his vehicle, as well. at first that's what we were tending to see if he was okay. once we could determine that, that's when we saw the body and got a blanket and brought it out. >> what did you do, what's your next step? what do you do next, how do you move through this? >> well, we were just fortunate enough that the emergency service personnel for the nypd and fire department were able to respond quickly and know what they know how to do and do it the best.
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here and still working, the mayor is on the scene, as well as the chief, and we're just fortunate that only one person died, to be honest. >> shaken up a bit, yes? >> a lot of people are. it was really quite a -- it was a scene. it was surreal. it was like a war zone initially when it happened. >> talk to us ability the sensitivity in this neighborhood for those who aren't as familiar with this area of lower manhattan, obviously, very, very busy, where you have all the members of the city council, mayor's office, city hall, all the manhattan state, supreme, federal courts, your organization, so many different offices and city officials, but the world trade center not too far away. how on edge are people when something like this happens and an emergency response is needed? >> when you think about that and terrorist attacks and things
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front of us, so we knew what it was. wasn't something like what happened 14 years ago when we didn't know what was going on. this is a crane that came down, you can't miss it, so people were relieved it was that. >> when you think about how congested that neighborhood is at 8:30 in the morning on a friday. >> you know, it's usually very congested. i think the weather kept a lot of people home today on the traveling side so we were very fortunate for that, only having one fatality and two injuries, you know, really, really lucky. >> are you still out there watching this all? >> i can see from my office window. >> what are you seeing right now? what floor are you on? >> second floor. >> where are you looking and what are you seeing? >> i'm looking out my window on worth street and at the emergency personnel here trying to secure the crane and things like that. keep people off the block,
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>> does it look like anyone else was trapped in their cars? >> no, that's the first thing we looked at when we went outside. the first four cars on the block were vehicles that were ours, that were staff and employees, as well as officers, so we knew that the first three cars were fine. the fourth car we found, you know, we found a person in the driver's side and he was conscious and he was okay. he was more probably a little bit of a state of shock, as i'm sure you can imagine. but we were able to get him out of the car and he went -- i think he went with some medical attention. >> those cars we're looking at flattened belonged to you guys? >> yeah. >> wow. was there anybody other than the guy you're talking about was not one of your people? >> no, he was not. >> anybody, any of your people in any cars? >> no, we were all in the building. >> everyone had parked and gone upstairs and started their work day.
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>> from what we've seen, it looks like the crane took off pieces of the building, bricks, and not a few, a lot of debris came down with it. >> right. >> as you saw it coming down, did it look like it was slicing off the front of the facade? >> didn't get our building, it was the new york law building, the law school, which is about three buildings from us, two or three buildings from us, it's a higher structure, part of the crane is the part that hit it, so bricks were coming down. structurally i can't tell you right now about any damage to that building. right now doesn't seem our building had structural damage at all. >> have you seen this crane every day as you would -- >> every day since it's been on the block, i think it's been on the block since monday. >> we spoke with a witness a couple of minutes ago who said that she had some colleagues of hers and she works in the same area you do in a different building who said this crane just looks like it's weakened.
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anything about this that kind of got your guard up a little bit? >> you know, it's ironic you say that, because yesterday i was having a conversation with ed mullands at the corner of the block and both looked ed ed up at the crane, doesn't look good, does it? so we went to another location to finish our conversation. >> what was it about it that made you say that? >> extremely large, you can imagine the size of it, it's a block and a half long. >> looking at a map, 40 worth, where are you? >> 35 worth. >> 40 is right across the street. >> i can see the entrance. >> you're looking at -- you can see the entrance, was the crane working? what was the address they were working at, if you can tell? >> working on worth street on worth and just west of west broadway, halfway down the block. >> it had been there since about monday.
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>> you've seen cranes, i mean, your whole career, your whole life, i'm listening it to you and pretty sure you're from new york city. >> what makes you say that? >> yeah, i detect a little bit of an accent. we see cranes all the time as life in new york city, but this looked a little strange to you? >> i've seen cranes my whole career here in the nypd. this one didn't seem to be any different, it just -- yesterday when we were talking and wind was picking up a bit, we didn't feel comfortable. >> yeah. let me ask you that, that's one of the questions we've been having this morning, talked to folks in our weather center who said there's a checkpoint not far from where this happened and they measured a wind gust about 40 miles an hour. that was at ground level. obviously, this thing is 18 stories tall, perhaps, and so the wind gusts are substantially higher up there. what did it feel like?
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>> you know, i'm fortunate enough i get into my office early so i park in front of the building so my walk from the car to the building is not that far so i can't tell if it's windy or not. just seemed like a blustery day. >> right. it is winter and we are having some weather, if you will. bob, thank you so much for joining us this morning. we really appreciate you taking the time and i'm glad that your members are safe and we appreciate you talking to us this morning. >> all right, darlene, thank you. >> that was bob ganley, vice president of the sergeants benevolent association, they are at 35 worth, this happened at 40 worth. they are able to see out their window. they saw the crane come down and were immediately able to jump into action and go outside and help out. >> what's interesting, he said he and a colleague were outside talking just yesterday, i believe, and kind of around this crane and looked up and said, you know what, i'm not comfortable talking here, i think we should move.
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look right. something your gut instinct tells you you shouldn't be there and they followed that gut instinct, pretty good idea seeing what's happened today as we look at some of these pictures. i am following a lot of your tweets with pictures that are coming in. from this scene and we mentioned a number of businesses in the area, bakery, law school, medical associates, obviously, police benevolent association. the innocence project has offices down there, as well, and they've had to close their offices. if you're not familiar with them, they are a group that works to free people who have, in their opinion, been incarcerated wrongfully and are a nonprofit group. anyway, their office is at 40 worth street, they are saying closed today because of this crane collapse. certainly, that will be the case with most of these businesses here. a lot of them were evacuated, they are turning off the gas to make sure emergency personnel can get in and do their job as
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have to go through buildings and make sure they are structurally sound, because as we've seen, a lot of debris came down with this, as well, kind of sheered off what would appear to be the facade of one of these buildings, there's some wires, we understand, on top of one of the buildings that the crane brought down. trying to figure out how all of that comes together. here is a picture we're talking about that shows the debris. one of the issues as they work to clean that up, as well, is the traffic. scrolling closures on the bottom of the screen there, 1, 2, 3 trains bypassing franklin and chambers street. of course, lauren skala has been sending us traffic updates, as well. if you have to go through that area, it's going to be a mess for quite some time until they get this cleaned up well through the day, no doubt in through tomorrow, as well. thankfully, tomorrow is a saturday and traffic won't be perhaps quite as bad as it was today. this came in about 8:25.
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very, very busy time of morning, no doubt still plenty of people on the streets, weather may have kept some people indoors or taking mass transit they would not have normally been on, so the streets were maybe a little clearer than normally at that hour of the morning, which is certainly a blessing in a case like this. these streets are incredibly narrow. when you see this thing start to come down, i can imagine what it sounded like, hear the creek of the metal as it begins to collapse and look up and perhaps the building is obscuring your view and you don't know exactly what's coming and all of a sudden it's ping-ponging back and forth off the buildings and this giant metal structure comes down not only along the street, but across it, as well. you don't know which way to go, where to run, where to hide, what to do, how to stay safe. must have been absolutely >> when you think about the traffic coming, because this
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you're in a car, taxi, delivery truck, that sort of thing, may not hear it coming down. next thing you know it's right in front of you stretching across the crosswalk. that could have been even more tragic. one person's life was lost here today, two people taken to the hospital, one to bellevue, one to new york presbyterian. one of the injuries is very, very serious, they are in critical condition. you talk about what's around there. this is a place where anything legal is in lower manhattan and you've got lots of people, lawyers, clients, law school students, people going back and forth, law enforcement, up and down that street where bob was talking about parking on the street and sergeants benevolent association park their cars up and down the street. this is not a place most people are driving, but if you live or work there and have permits, these are places you are allowed to park. so you can see the damage that
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sba came downstairs to pull somebody out of the car and you can imagine the terror and they did encounter one person who was killed who was likely just walking down the street. but you're looking at how busy this area is, 8:25 on a friday morning. as you mentioned, carrie, luckily the weather hopefully kept a lot of people away. it is now 10:28 a.m., if you're just tuning in, we want to get you up to date on the crane collapse in tribeca, we're expecting the mayor to speak at any moment to brief us on the situation. at least one person is dead, two hurt, one of them critically. the crane landed on worth street, smashing several parked cars. >> also reports of a gas leak in a nearby building, if that is connected, con ed is working to get the gas shut off at this point. subway is bypassing the chambers and franklin street stations, as well. >> we reached out to the crane owner, bay crane, which did not want to comment at this time.
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have another witness on the phone, allen abramson, this is an area with a lot of legal offices, he is a lawyer and works at 35 worth street. allen allen, are you with us? >> yes, i am. are you there, did you see this go down, what happened? >> i was not there this morning, but we have been watching them try to put up the crane the last several days. look, we work down in the area, we see them using cranes all the time, they generally don't bother us, but over the last several days we were concerned. seemed to be a lot of confusion day after day, looked like the workers were arguing with each other, crane never seemed steady, the winds seemed to be causing some problems. they put the crane up, they'd take it down. this just seems like a disaster waiting to happen. and i'm also hearing from people in the neighborhood there seemed to be some sort of water pipe issue last night.
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anything to do with undermining the foundation that the crane was on, that's just something that i heard just recently. but all during the week while they were trying to put this crane up just seemed to be problem after problem. >> this seemed to be confusion day after day. >> it's interesting. we don't want to speculate specifically about what happened because we're not sure at this point. you're certainly mott the first person that spoke to us this morning when they said they had concerns about this crane. when you say confusion, what specifically do you mean? >> you saw groups of people talking about the riggings and things like that. they seemed to be arguing with each other. people would walk away from different discussions and things like that. they'd start working on something and stop abruptly. the crane would go up, and the
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they would have to lay it down and have to get crews to watch and things like that. normally these things, you're attracted to them because you see the cranes going up smoothly. you stand by and watch for a little while. there seems to be progress constantly being made. here it didn't happen that way. it seems to start and then stop, start and then stop. the workers didn't seem to be shouting out instructions and he would follow the instructions. this one just didn't seem to be working the way these crane projects normally do. they normally seem to be smooth, and there seems to be instructions that are being followed. here it just seemed to be confusion day after day. it seems to be taking longer than it normally would. they were trying to figure out how to make it work. this one just had a bad feeling from day one.
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did an extraordinary job when they heard that something happened, they went out immediately to get help. but you have to realize that crane came down -- had that come down just a few feet to the left, it would have taken out other buildings, there would have been law students hurt, people in the sba building. it could have been so much worse than what actually happened. >> absolutely. listening to you describe, and youd said you just weren't confident that they knew what they were doing. did you ever get to hear what it was they were arguing about other than just not agreeing with each other on how this project should go? >> no. i want to be clear, i could not hear the substance of the conversation nor would i have understood. i'm not a crane rigger. i wouldn't have understand what
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normally, when you come to these sites, you hear these guys are calling out instructions and you see things moving very, very smoothly. they'll hold people back. here people were moving up and down the street while they were trying to move things. it just seemed like a very disorganized construction site. >> alan abrahamson, we morning. thank you very much for your comments. >> my pleasure, thank you. we want to head to andrew siff now. he's been at the scene for quite a while. we understand the mayor made his way to the scene and surveyed the area. what can you tell us? >> well, the first thing we can tell you is it's a good sign in terms of the structural stability. if you look behind me, again, i'm just a little east of this portion of the crane, mayor deplaz i don't walked right underneath it, the portion of the crane right over there
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even emergency officials wouldn't have walked the mayor underneath it unless they felt it had stabilized there. that's just an indication of the structural integrity that they were able to walk the mayor underneath it. you'll probably get more from the mayor in just a few minutes. i want to tilt towards the fourth floor. you might be able to see some plastic. that's a firefighter up there. they knocked out the window and they're using plastic wrap there. it's unclear whether there was damage to the window or whether firefighters are using that as a means of egress. just to show emergency responders are inside the building, whether they're doing structural assessments or removing portions of anything that got knocked ourkts i did get a chance to walk much, much closer to the scene before we got thrown out. a lot of people asking if we can get closer. right now emergency services and the fire department won't let us
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i did get to walk to the southwest corner. from there you could see hundreds and hundreds of bricks on the north side of the street that had come crashing down along with the collapse. that's something we had president seen initially, damage from the building littering worth street. so much more of the aftermath of this crane collapse that's visible from closer. now, mayor deblasio will be with the office of emergency management and the department of buildings, and i'm certain that one of the issues -- you heard alan abramson talking on our air. one of the issues that will be asked is inspection of trane cranes. do the individual contractors do an adequate job. crane inspection, as we've been telling you all morning, has been a problem not just for recent months and years, but for many years here in new york city. back to you guys. >> we have a history.
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there is a sad history in new york city with crane collapses, several results in fatalities. this is certainly not the first one. several have been recent. this particular company has 65 violations in the past. bay crane owns this crane. it doesn't appear that they were the operator. we don't know exactly. we can't confirm who the operators of the crane were, but they've been investigated. in 2010 one of their cranes collapsed at a building, 80 main way. 2015, last year, they dropped a 20,000-pound air conditioning unit. again, this is the owner of the crane company, this is who it belongs to, not the operator of the crane company. but the fact remains that lots of investigating needs to take place to see who is responsible, how this happened and how to prevent this from happening again. >> of course one of the things andrew talked about is the fact
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operators each have different and specific sets of inspections and boxes that they have to check and standards that they have to meet in terms of how the crane is maintained, how it is run, how it is secured. so each of them have kind of their separate bars that they have to match and meet in order to make sure that the crane is not only safe, but it's being operated in a proper manner as well. we're working on getting that all figured out. we're trying to get in touch with the operator, or the owner of the crane. as we mentioned, we've called them and they answered. at this point all they have said is no comment. it is interesting, and you have to take into consideration what the number of people, the witnesses who were there when this thing went down this morning or who work in the area said. every single person that we've spoken to -- again, this is speculation. i need to make sure we're not saying anybody is at fault.
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us point-blank that they felt this thing was unsafe. there appeared to be issues with getting it up. it was getting it up and then down and up and then down. that it seemed it swayed a little bit with the wind, and it didn't sit quite right with anybody we've spoken to. in fact, we spoke with one witness who said he was out there, a worker at the police benevolent association saying he was out there with his colleagues having a conversation and looked up and saw this, and he said, this thing doesn't look like it's stable, doesn't look stable, and they actuallily moved. that's going to be something where the investigators will be talking to witnesses as well in looking how this came down and where it buckled. one of the things alan mentioned earlier was perhaps there was an issue with water pipe, in that area. whether that had anything to do with it, we're not sure.
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perhaps it could have made the ground underneath the crane unstable and perhaps it tipped over. although, this is a crawler crane. that means it operates on tracks, and it is supposed to be pretty stable, even on soft ground. >> new video coming anywhere you can see the length. people have said this crane was somewhere between 15 and 18 stories high. massive crane, a tall crane. you look at how it has just stretched across this street here as we see the emergency response which has really, really been huge as well. at some point it was three to four alarms. looking at close to 200 firefighters that responded. the sergeants benevolent association, several of their members came outside. one of them unfortunately did witness the gentleman who passed away who appears was a civilian or pedestrian, if you will, standing on the street on worth street when this crane came
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this is the sort of thing that obviously you can't prepare for. it comes down with massive force and incredibly quick speed. when you think about the travel and how it stretched across the intersection there and how it really could have been so much worse. of course, no consolation for the family of that one person who was lost. we don't have their identity at this point. we understand it was a man who was on the street there. there was also somebody in a car, members of the sba pulled that person out, and there are two people who were injured, one critically. it could have been so much worse when you think about the weather playing a role and possibly keeping people home and the fact that it wasn't later on in the morning. although 8:30 in the morning in lower manhattan is still a busy time. as we take a look at some of these pictures, you can see the crane -- the cab part, if you will, kind of flipped over on its side.
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tips from viewers who are out at the scene, the boom part of the crane which is kind of the apparatus that sticks out is the part that kind of holds the weight. they're telling us that that fell, and then the crane itself kind of toppled over after it. that kind of tells you which part came first. we know that the base didn't tip and the boom come down with it. it would appear the boom came down and then pulled the base of the crane over on top of itself. if you're familiar with this particular type of crane, as i mentioned, it's a crawler claen. to give you background of what that means, it is capable of holding very, very heavy loads, much heavier than your typical crane. people said they did see it loading and lifting heavy pallets of wood. it runs on a track. it's supposed to be very stable. that's specifically the design of it. it's able to work even on soft ground.
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mentioned, perhaps there was an issue with piping underneath. we look at now, though, the snow and wind appears to have picked up as we look at these live pictures. that will certainly complicate the progress of the rescue and emergency personnel as they are out there trying to get this scene, not only secure, but make sure everybody is safe because they're going to have to go through and inspect all these buildings one by one. andrew siff showed us a live picture moments ago of a firefighter in one of these buildings, several stories up, putting plastic sheeting over one of the windows that had either been punched out intentionally or knocked out by the crane. as you look, the whole block is strewn with bricks and metal as the crane sheared off the face of buildings. and it came down across an entire block. this thing is somewhere between 15 and 18 stories high.
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block and it goes across as well and sticks out into the intersection, which brings us to traffic issues. this is going to be closed for a while, even as they do an investigation. until they get this cleaned up, traffic is going to be diverted. the trains not stopping at chambers or franklin street. >> we understand the mayor has been on the scene and surveyed the damage, surveyed the scene. we're expecting him to give his remarks. hopefully he can answer some of the questions we've had all morning in terms of how this accident happened, whose fault it was, what went wrong. we have andrew siff standing by live as we wait for mayor deblasio to speak. andrew? >> reporter: here is a little more of what we can expect from the mayor. he had a previously scheduled event, supposed to be in brooklyn at the red hook houses talking about transit plans for the future. that is postponed.
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members of the buildings department took him underneath the crane behind him -- i'm standing on a ledge, in case you're seeing portions of the pole, i'm standing on a ledge to get some height to get a look at this side between west broad street and church. the mayor walked right underneath it. no doubt he could see all the tumbling bricks on the north side of worth street that came down when that boom and portions of the crane came falling down. the mayor will be at the news conference along with members of the office of emergency management. that's the lead agency whenever you have the fire department and the police department and buildings and multiple agencies. the city has a relatively recent agreement where oem takes charge. they're in charge here. also, you'll probably hear from the chief of department from the nypd, james o'neill, because there's a police command here in terms of keeping pedestrians back, which streets they can walk by.
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being difficult this morning, not only are all these street closures from church street to broadway and part of lower manhattan where there's already a rush hour logjam, but subway problems on the 4, 5 and 6 train, already the busiest line in the city. it's just an absolute mess out here on top of the tragic situation involved with this crane. there's going to be a lot from an administrative standpoint that the mayor will address, and in terms of the department of willed dings and crane inspections, that will certainly be something that he will no doubt be directing his buildings commissioner, chandler, to look at whether the buildings department is fully on top of crane inspections and whether these private companies are doing all they can with the proper sense of urgency to make sure these situations high above where people are walking are secured to the greatest extent possible. again, the mayor is here. we know he's on location about one block south of here getting ready to brief everyone on the latest on this situation. >> all right.
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we're looking at a live picture right now. this is at a staging center. as andrew mentioned, not too far away from where the crane collapsed. we see members of fdny there briefing the mayor. he's been out there assessing the damage, figuring out where we need to go, taking a look at what happened. the investigation will take a while. but with what he knows so far, the mayor will be talking moment terrelly. >> for what it means for the stability of the building, they say the mayor was aable to get very close to the building to survey. we have some video right now. we understand we have video of the actual collapse as it was taking place. let's take a look and see what we're looking at. >> this is unbelievable video shot by glenn zitto.
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>> that crane buckling and coming down at the base. >> we're looking at a crane somewhere between 15 and 18 stories high, many thousands of thousands of pounds ortons just coming down like that in the middle of a busy, busy morning in lower manhattan. when you think about the magnitude of that, this is 30 worth street, lower manhattan, a busy neighborhood. >> if you think about it, traffic could have been crossing very easily at that point. there could have been many, many cars and pedestrians in the middle of the street. thankful hopefully the snow kept the majority of the people inside. it wasn't quite as busy. >> mayor deblows i don't
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briefing. >> a crane collapsed along worth street between west broadway and church. we have one fatality, the individual happened to be sitting in a parked car, not associated with the work being done on the crane. we have three individuals with injuries, two serious, one minor, non-life-threatening as far as we know at this point. none of the workers who were working on the site were injured in the process. this type of crane is called a crawler crane. it was being moved into a secure position because, by the manufacturer's instructions, as winds topped 20 miles an hour,
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instruction was the crane should be put in a secure position as per hour. that's lower than the typical standard for cranes, but for this company that was their standard. so, in fact, they were in the process of securing the crane. they got to the work site this morning at 7:00, recognized the winds were in the 20-mile-per-hour-plus range and were continuing to pursue the crane, to bring it down to a safe and secure position when this incident occurred. our department of buildings personnel had been on the site yesterday to approve the next steps in the work on that building. they had inspected the crane yesterday morning at 6:20 a.m. and reviewed the work that was being done and approved it again this morning. in fact, no work was done on the site because the crew made the decision immediately to bring the crane down into the secure position. this incident occurred literally
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to secure it. : we have updates on what's being done to secure the area and deal with the aftermath, obviously. first and foremost, the human effect. our hearts go out to the families of the individual who has been lost and to all those who have been injured. we're concerned obviously for everyone who lives and work in the area to make sure they'll be safe. the immediate concern relates to the fact that there's been gas leaks as a result of this incident. fdny and con ed have been sweeping the related buildings along worth street constantly. so far they have not detected the type of gas levels that give them additional fear of any further problems. they're literally sweeping them every 15 minutes to check gas levels. there have not been larger evacuations, only those buildings immediately affected, physically affected by the crane hitting them.
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sad incident: we've lost a life. but if you go out on the street as i did and see what happened worse. in fact, a crew was directing people away from worth street as the crane was being lowered. so that crew, those construction workers who in the normal course of their work as they were lowering the crane were, in fact, keeping people away from the site and keeping traffic from proceeding down west broadway. that is part of why this situation was not even worse. as i said, fdny continues sweeping the buildings and securing the situation on the streets along with con ed and department of buildings. con ed has turned off gas in most of the buildings and a precaution, and they will be able to resolve the gas leak issue bier live afternoon, as far as we know at this point.
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for people who live or work along worth street between hudson and church, that this area will be largely cut off or partially cut off for several days. we'll make every effort to accommodate people. there's going to be larger disruptions in the area between canal on the south -- excuse me -- canal on the north, chambers on the south, hudson on the west and broadway on the east. that box, we'll see a lot of disruption in the coming hours and probably in the next few days as issues are resolved and addressed. the number one train continues running but is skipping two stops in the affected area. a number of measures have been taken to protect people and make sure we can focus on the work of addressing the situation and getting things back to normal over the next few days. it will certainly take several days, certainly no earlier than monday, possibly longer before we can get things back to normal
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in addition, we have taken the precaution, even though wind levels have not reached to a level that would lead to a shutdown of cranes around the city, we're taking the precaution of doing that right now. this type of crane again is called a crawler crane. it is not the largest type of crane which is called a tower crane, but the crawler cranes registered with department of buildings, 376 of them, all potentially active today, it all depends on the work site. we're instructing all 376 crawler cranes to be secured, whatever is the more secured position for them in a wing condition, all ordered to be secured immediately. in addition, the 43 tower cranes, the larger cranes in the city, have been ordered to go into a secure position immediately. those are some of the basic updates. let me tell you throughout the morning i've been working with
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commissioner for emergency management, joe es scene r received dough, buildings manager rick chandler, fire department, first deputy and chief leonard, chief department o'neill and from con ed, richard yacko has been the senior con ed person on site. all those agencies are closely coordinating. i walked the length of the crane. you can see how powerful the damage was. you can also see again it was something of a miracle that there wasn't more impact and thank god that the impact on people wasn't worse because this is an area that normally would have had a lot of people around it, rush hour in the morning, lower manhattan. because, again, the crane was being lowered into a secure position and the construction workers were blocking off the area, the danger to people on the street was lessened. thank god we didn't have more injuries and lose more people. just for your knowledge, we just
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this is the first crane collapse in the city since 2008. a number of precautions were put in place -- in fact, there were two major crane collapses in 2008. a number of precautions were put in place at that time that have been very effective in stopping this kind of problem. in fact, those type of precautions were in place today which is why this crane was being lowered into a secure position. something went wrong in that process. there's going to be a full investigation to find out what went wrong, and obviously, if it tells us anything that will lead to other changes going forward. full police investigation under way. full department of buildings investigation under way. this is being treated as a scene where which want to get all the facts about what happened here before we can come to further judgment specifically about this incident and about any changes we may want to make as a result. with that, unless my colleagues
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to your questions. >> mr. mayor, describing nothing since 2008. there has been an epidemic in crane incidents in the city over the past decade. what can you do to police that? >> i'll disagree with the term epidemic. there have been very serious incidents. again, i think my predecessor took some major steps after 2008 to change the way cranes were handled, and obviously those steps worked because here we are eight years later. it's a very painful day. i'm not going to minimize what's happened here. we have to figure out what happened and make sure it doesn't happen again in the future. i would say differently. we've had some real serious issues on construction sites that we are taking major steps to change and to address, but that is different from what we've seen here. this is something that hasn't happened in almost a decade. >> the two people who were hurt, were they injured by falling debris or the actual crane itself?
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o'neill -- who has the best sense of where each individual was. chief leonard. >> we have four total patients. one was the person who was killed upon impact, and the other people were all hit by falling debris. they all sustained, as the mayor reported, non-life -- >> all right. we seem to have lost the news conference that we were listening to. you're listening to mayor deblasio who has been able to survey this scene and speak with investigators. what he has told us, i think the most interesting thing that's come out of this news conference that he's having this morning is this particular crane was actually getting secured at the moment it came down. after the crane collapse in 2008 here in new york city, there were some precautions, safety precautions, procedures put into place that require wind gusts
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hour to be secured. that's exactly what was happening here. this crane, this crawler crane was being secured and something went very, very wrong in the process. what exactly happened, we're not exactly sure. investigators will be looking into that. the city has ordered all cranes in new york city to be secured, shut down, stop working. that would be 376 crawler cranes registered with the department of buildings, 43 tower cranes which don't run along tracks, to go into secure positions all immediately just as a precaution. >> one of the things they talked about, darlene, was the wind. we know this morning there's an observation area where wind gusts at ground level were recorded right around 40 miles an hour. that is substantially higher than the cut-off point for these cranes being moved into that secure position.
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winds are substantially higher. that's something they're looking at. in terms of what they're doing right now, as we look at the video of the rescue -- not the rescue effort, the cleanup effort, they're sweeping through the buildings every 15 minutes, con ed, to make sure they don't get any elevated gas red dings. that's one of the concerns, sweeping buildings every 15 minutes to make sure things are okay. >> coming up on 11:00 right now. if you're just joining us, we continue to follow breaking news in tribeca, a deadly crane collapse. the mayor held a news conference to update us on the situation. one person who died was in a parked car that got crushed by the crane. three others were hurt, two seriously, one minor. no workers were injured. >> the crane operator is actually in the process of securing the crane because of
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