Improper rigging operations caused an 11,000-pound steel collar to
fall, leading to a tower crane collapse at 303 East 51st Street, at Second Avenue, on March 15, 2008,
according to the results of a year-long Department of Buildings
investigation into the collapse, released this week. The collar’s fall
damaged the crane’s connections to the building, which led the tower
crane to collapse, killing six construction workers and one civilian, DOB determined.
The tower crane’s fall also demolished a four-story brownstone and
damaged more than a dozen buildings in the neighborhood.
Three buildings in the area of the crane collapse remain empty because
they have not yet been repaired, according to a statement from the
DOB. A stop-work order also remains in effect at
303 East 51st Street.
In January, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau indicted the
tower crane rigger company and the company’s owner. The March collapse was followed by one in May at East 91st Street and First Avenue. TRD