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Crane collapses in downtown New York: FDNY

A crane collapsed in downtown New York on Friday morning, killing at least one person sitting in a car and injuring three pedestrians.

As snow was falling, the crane collapsed shortly before 8:30 a.m. on Worth Street between West Broadway and Church Street in Tribeca, the fire department said. The crane struck several buildings as it crashed to the street, a city official told WNBC. Several cars were crushed under the crane, which spanned two city blocks.

The crane had been working at the former Western Union building, a New York City landmark, since Jan. 30, Reuters said.

The building houses data centers and is considered an important U.S. telecommunications hub for high-speed connections to Wall Street and the Internet., according to Reuters.

Emergency crews survey a massive construction crane collapse on a street in downtown Manhattan in New York February 5, 2016.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Emergency crews survey a massive construction crane collapse on a street in downtown Manhattan in New York February 5, 2016.

At the scene, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the person who died had been sitting in a parked car. He said three other people were injured.

"The fact is, this is a very very sad incident — we have lost a life — but if you go out there on the street, as I did, and see what happened here, thank God it was not worse," the mayor said.

Two of the injured were taken to Bellevue Hospital with serious injuries, the fire department said. Neither appeared to have life-threatening injury, according to the mayor.

All of those injured were pedestrians, NBC News reported. De Blasio said none of the workers at the site was hurt.

The collapse occurred as the crane was being moved into a "safe and secure position," the mayor said, explaining that the instructions for the company said the equipment needed to be secured if winds reached 25 mph.

Department of Buildings personnel had been at the site and inspected the crane on Thursday, and officials had approved the work being done, de Blasio said.

The mayor announced that he was ordering all 376 crawler cranes and 43 tower cranes registered in the city to be secured even though wind had not yet reached 25 mph.

The collapsed crane bore the name Bay Crane. An employee at the company, who said he was a manager but would not give his name when reached by The Associated Press, said an investigation is underway into the collapse. He declined further comment.

—Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.