Crane collapse spurs outrage among residents

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New York City residents say they had been worried about construction accidents before the crane collapse that killed seven people on March 15, and some say the Buildings Department did little to allay their fears. Last year was the third straight year that more than 30,000 residential building permits were issued. The Department of Buildings new Special Enforcement Teams have issued 773 stop work orders and 1,617 violations since September 2007. At the site of the crane collapse on East 51st Street, workers are still clearing the wreckage from destroyed one townhouse and at least seven other damaged buildings. Turtle Bay residents have begun a petition calling for the tower at 303 East 51st Street to rise no higher than its current 18 stories, instead of the planned 43 stories. Over 40 giant cranes tower over the city, including many in Hell’s Kitchen and Tribeca. The city has reportedly assigned only two of its 400 building inspectors to review all 250 construction cranes around the city.

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