Bloomberg: Don't be afraid of cranes

June 4, 2008 10:14:04 AM PDT
Some residents forced out of their homes from the deadly collapse were allowed to return Tuesday. The news came as the mayor urged New Yorkers not to be afraid every time they see a crane being used.Eyewitness News reporter NJ Burkett has more.

Inspectors declared the building structurally sound as most of the residents headed back to their homes. But five days after the crane came crashing down, New Yorkers are asking the same questions.

"I would like to know what happened," one resident said. "People died, and it caused a big disaster to the neighborhood, so I think someone should get to the bottom of it."

"If they don't, then there's just going to be more people that are going to be killed and more damage, and that's not acceptable," another said.

It happened around 8 a.m. last Friday, without warning, killing the crane's operator and leaving another man fatally wounded. Investigators say a worn-out part of the crane was rebuilt after it cracked while being used at another construction site. Officials say the New York Crane and Equipment Company repaired and re-installed the crane's turn table after it cracked last year.

Several agencies are investigating, including OSHA and the city's Department of Investigations, as well as the Manhattan District Attorney.

The mayor refused to comment on the investigations, but seemed determined to assure New Yorkers.

"I don't think you should start worrying about looking up," Mayor Bloomberg said. "The liklihood of anything happening to you is so small."

Bloomberg said he cannot promise that this will not happen again, but did promise answers. And with so many investigations going on at the same time, those answers are likely to come sooner rather than later.