Monday, April 9, 2012

Work Resumes at 7 Extension After Deadly Crane Collapse

Construction on the 7 Train extension resumed this week, after a crane collapse killed one worker and injured several others at the West 34th Street and 11th Avenue work site on April 3. The disaster killed Michael Simmermeyer, 30, and injured three other workers, when massive pieces of a crane came crashing down at the MTA's No. 7 extension construction site on 34th Street.

Shortly after 7:20 p.m on April 3, the 40- and 80-foot sections of the giant Manitowoc 4100 crane— which had a 170-foot-long boom — fell to the ground shortly with a deafening sound, at the site on 34th Street and 11th Avenue.

At least one cable snapped, sparking the collapse of the crane, which is owned and operated by Yonkers Contracting Company Inc.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority had suspended all work on the site, where the future 34th Street station is being built, shortly after the deadly incident and had yet to replace the crane as of Tuesday morning, even though work at the jobsite has restarted.

In the wake of the crane collapse, local politicians have called for greater city oversight over MTA and other state-owned construction sites. Currently, city inspectors can only come onto sites under state supervision if they are invited.

According to reports, city inspectors failed to check the cables of the crane in a January inspection.

The city's Department of Buildings, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the District Attorney and the NYPD are still investigating the incident.