Authorities temporarily shut down FDR Drive in both directions around East 6th Street after the freestanding boom partially collapsed during the afternoon, striking the side of the city-run Jacob Riis Houses, a six-story 590-unit residential building.
Video from News Copter 7 shows the boom seemingly snapped in two.
Workers were using the crane to put some heavy steel beams on top of one of the buildings in the Riis Houses when suddenly the top extension of the crane bent and hit the building on the way down.
The FDNY, OEM and the city's Buildings Department were on the scene.
The boom only caused superficial damage to the side of the building. There was no real structural damage to the building, only windows, glass and air conditioners were damaged.
Cynthia Martin, a building resident, said the boom damaged a window in the apartment where she lives with her children.
"The glass shattered inside the apartment. It went in, and (my son) heard a loud boom, and they ran, and all the glass was in the apartment ... my son was sitting right next to it, and thank god for the curtains (were) right there, but all the glass came in ... I felt like I was having a heart attack. I couldn't even get here fast enough," she said.
No injuries were reported. Both 749 FDR Drive and 765 FDR Drive were temporarily evacuated because the crane was unstable, and families stayed outside in the courtyard for hours.
The FDR Drive closures were prompted out of an abundance of caution while the crane was lowered, officials said.
The cause of the collapse remains under investigation. Crews were working to stabilize the crane.
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