5 years ago on February 5th, 2016
A crane working at 60 Hudson Street collapses on Worth Street, killing one and injuring three
The crane was in the process of being lowered due to windy conditions when the structure began to tip over and crashed down at Worth Street and West Broadway, striking several buildings as it fell.
The collapse killed David Wichs and seriously injured two others on the ground, causing a head injury to a 73-year-old man who was sitting in a vehicle when it was crushed, and a 45-year-old woman who suffered a leg and head injury. One firefighter suffered minor injuries while responding to the scene.
The free-standing crane, owned by Bay Crane and operated by Galasso Trucking and Rigging, had a total length of 565 feet and was being used to lift generators and air-conditioning units onto 60 Hudson Street, the former Western Union building.
The crane was rated for 25 mph winds, but winds on the morning of the collapse had only risen to around 20 mph. A heavier gust to 37 mph had been detected at the Battery at the southern tip of Manhattan near the time of the collapse.
In a court case two years later, a judge placed the majority of the blame on the crane's operator, Kevin Reilly, who was found at fault for not lowering the crane the night before anticipated winds, but the judge also faulted Department of Buildings inspectors for accepting incomplete paperwork from the crane operator. The deadly crane collapse also drew attention to a rarely-enforced Department of Buildings regulation limiting crane operations in high winds.
Read more about the life of David Wichs, who was killed in the collapse.