Investigation into crane companies in latest incident

Jim Hoffer has the investigation.

October 7, 2013 3:33:38 PM PDT
Two difference crane companies are involved in Monday's mishap and both have had problems in the past.

One of those companies, New York Crane and Equipment is one of the largest in the city.

Their cranes dot Manhattan's skyline and perhaps because of the sheer numbers, when there is a mishap, often it involves one of theirs.

In the recent past, some of the city's worst crane accidents involved New York Crane and Equipment based in Queens.

In 2008, the collapse of one its cranes killed seven people at a building site on East 51st street, but the company rigging the crane was believed at fault.

Then just weeks later, another New York Crane collapsed on the East Side, killing two people. This time, the company owner James Lomma was charged with manslaughter. He was eventually acquitted.

Then last January, the boom on a mobile crane owned by Lomma's company collapsed injuring seven workers at a Long Island City construction site. In this case, the crane was being leased by a subcontractor whose operator was blamed for lifting too heavy a load.

In Monday's mishap, no injuries but again, it involved a New York Crane's tower crane. This time, a mechanical problem that left a 13,000 pound block of concrete hanging above the street for hours.

The crane was being rented by Pinnacle Industries of Harrison New York. They were probably renting it because their crane collapsed during Superstorm Sandy and dangled dangerously for days until secured to the building. They've been hit with violations in the past at the same site for operating a crane in an unsafe manner.

One of those past violations against Pinnacle was for losing control while lowering a load from the 58th floor, striking and breaking windows. After Monday's mishap, the city put a partial stop work order at the construction site.


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