Crane malfunction at Sapir’s 261 Madison sends shipping container-sized load free falling

10 were injured on the corner of East 38th Street and Madison Avenue
May 31, 2015 01:22PM

A crane at the corner of East 38th Street and Madison Avenue snapped on Sunday, dropping its load some 30 stories and leaving at least 10 people with injuries.

The crane was lifting an air conditioning unit to the roof of the Sapir Organization’s 261 Madison Avenue when a cable snapped at 10:50 a.m., police told the New York Daily News. The massive shipping container-sized air conditioning unit crashed into parts of the building as it fell.

Fearing that the façade of the building may collapse from the damage, officials evacuated several streets along Madison from 37th to 39th streets, according to the New York Post.

In a statement, Mayor de Blasio said the injured were “primarily pedestrians.” Apparently no one was seriously hurt.

“Thank God this incident occurred at a time when there were not many people around,” de Blasio said.

The Sapir Organization owns the office buildings 260 and 261 Madison Avenue.

Here’s a video of the aftermath via Pix11:

[NYDN | NYP] Christopher Cameron

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the nature of a crane accident at 261 Madison. The crane’s cable snapped, causing its cargo to smash into the building.