Irma has arrived: Tower crane snaps in half, strikes PMG’s 300 Biscayne

It's one of about 20 cranes in Downtown Miami that could be damaged by extreme winds

The nightmare is happening. High winds from Hurricane Irma caused the tower crane at Property Market Group’s under-construction “Vice” apartment tower to snap in half and crash into the building.

According to the Miami Herald, at about 10:30 a.m. on Sunday two city firefighters watched the crane’s boom separate and slam into the building, spraying chunks of construction material to the ground below. The Herald reported that the boom is still connected to the crane tower by a cable but is dangling on the side of the 30-story luxury residential building at 300 Biscayne Boulevard.

No injuries were reported, and in a series of Twitter messages the city urged people to avoid the area.

Kevin Maloney, principal of the New York-based real estate company, told the Herald that the firm is “trying to find out what its potential path downward is and how to secure it.”

In a statement to The Real Deal, a spokesperson for PMG added, “All we care about is the safety of everyone right now, we will have a crew to secure the crane as soon as weather permits.”

John Moriarty & Associates is the general contractor, according to records and press releases.

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A cell phone video posted to Twitter appeared to show the counterweight ball swinging and crashing into the side of the building, according to the Herald.

Before the deadly hurricane made landfall in South Florida with winds registered at 130 miles per hour, the city warned that the 20-25 cranes scattered throughout downtown were at risk to strike neighboring properties. The tower cranes are designed to sustain winds of up to 145 miles per hour. City officials said they didn’t have time to disassemble the cranes before Irma intensified and made a turn toward South Florida.

Maloney’s firm received a $110 million financing package for the 464-unit project last year. PMG paid about $80 million for the site in 2014.

Rendering of 300 Biscayne Boulevard

[Miami Herald]James Kleimann