Thursday, February 16, 2012

Steel Beams Fall 40 Stories at WTC Construction Site

A massive load of steel beams plummeted 40 stories from a crane perched atop a World Trade Center tower that is under construction Thursday morning — slamming into a flatbed truck and sending workers scrambling for cover. Miraculously, no one, not even the driver of the truck, was injured.
Work at the Tower 4 jobsite, where the crane was located, was partially shut down after the 9:58 a.m. accident as investigators from the Port Authority, FDNY,  the Department of Buildings and OSHA poured over the scene.
Witnesses said the falling beams sounded like an explosion that left them to fear the worst and sent terrified workers running from the site. 

Workers from Tower 3 halted construction and gathered in Zuccotti Park, across the street from the site, after the accident.

In Thursday's incident, the driver of the truck was not injured, although one worker at the scene was treated for minor injuries an FDNY spokesperson said. The accident happened in an enclosed section of the site that is not open to the public.

The crane, which was operated by DCM Erectors, was perched atop Tower 4, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013 and will eventually be 72 stories. Work on the tower has reached the 62nd floor. 

DCM Erectors was cited in 2007 for unsafe hoisting operations after an accident at the Goldman Sachs construction site across from the World Trade Center. 

In that case, seven tons of steel fell 25 stories onto an architect's office in a trailer next to the site. The architect was paralyzed in the accident. OSHA inspectors fined DCM $9,450 for not using proper rigging equipment.
OSHA last inspected DCM Erectors' World Trade Center site in September 2011 and found no violations. 

In the last five years, OSHA has cited DCM Erectors for seven safety violations at job sites in New York City. The company was fined $9,000 for using inadequate fall protection at 150 Greenwich Street in 2010. DCM paid a $3,000 fine for the same problem at a site at 550 W. 120th Street in 2008.