A Huge Crane Collapsed on Worth Street

That huge crane over W. Broadway collapsed this morning. (It was working on 60 Hudson, the Western Union Building.) From the friend of a reader: “All the cars on the north side are crushed. I think they were all parked cars. I pray they were all empty.” More as it comes in….

UPDATE: “At Least 1 Dead, 2 Hurt,” says NBC New York. (Actually, it said 12 hurt, but everyone else is saying two.) From Peter: “It is now being reported the one fatality was a 38 year old man who was walking along Worth Street and was crushed by the crane. His name was not released.”

These two photos are by JW:

crane by JWThese are from Sophie Matisse:

crane3 by JWcrane2 by Sophie Matisse crane by Sophie MatisseUPDATE from NotifyNYC: “Due to crane collapse, MTA 1 train bypassing Franklin station. Consider alternate routes and allow for additional travel time.”

Photo by Paul Leys:

crane by Paul Leys pwleys

A photo from the NYPD:

crane courtesy NYPDnewsTo give a sense of how large this crane was, here’s a video Evan Frank took on Sunday.

The Daily News has a write-up on the accident.

And here’s a photo that Community Board 1 sent out.

crane by CB1



  1. Felt like an earthquake. Our whole building 2 blocks away swayed side to side. Super scary.

  2. As of now, 9:15 AM, they are saying one person has been confirmed dead, and several others seriously injured and some people are trapped in cars on the street.

    • It is now being reported the one fatality was a 38 year old man who was walking along Worth Street and was crushed by the crane. His name was not released.

  3. I can’t help thinking this crane is somehow related to 56 Leonard.

  4. I live in Tribeca i always cut thru worth street to get to the Holland tunnel. On Sunday as soon as i turned on worth street. I look up and saw the gigantic crane i was like omg that does not look safe at all. It’s like a bad dram my heart goes out to the families of the injured

    • I walked past yesterday morning and my friend commented abut how scary walking by was. It was on a mobile base so it could have been moving to another location. I can’t think of any construction going on between Hudson and W. Broadway on Worth. It did sound like an explosion. I was thinking that it was weird that the storm was creating thunder then i heard the sirens. So terrible.

      • Now they are saying they were installing generator to one of the buildings.

      • They installed it Monday morning around 9. It looked like one of the standard mechanicals deliveries for 60 Hudson. I saw several street closure notices for the week and thought it was odd because they don’t usually leave the mobile cranes assembled for so long.

  5. Not 56 Leonard – the one that was doing god knows what between Hudson and West Broadway on Worth. But it now stretched all the way to Church… It’s a mess, hope no further casualties

    • I live on Hudson. We asked when they were putting it together. They were putting up generators to prepare in case we have another hurricane sandy occurrence.

  6. Felt like an earthquake – on leonard kind of scary then heard the sirens. it was only a matter of time that this happened with the rampant 24 hour construction on every corner in this part of tribeca.

  7. One upside of this tragedy is that the damn screeching elevator hoist 56 leonard has gone silent

  8. We live on Thomas between Church and W.B’way. They routinely use these large cranes to deliver mechanicals to 60 Hudson but they usually set up the crane in the middle of West Broadway itself. It typically happens on a weekend and screws up traffic royally. I’ve never seen a crane set up across W.B’way and can’t help but think the unorthodox set up had something to do with this.

  9. I walked under the crane literally seconds before it fell. More to come soon.

  10. NY Times has a news clip of the crane actually coming down that was taken from a nearby building. Amazing piece.

  11. I saw it happen this morning, and dodged the bullet.

    I was walking north on W. Broadway and had just crossed Worth. As I was waiting on the corner of W. Broadway and Leonard, something seemed off. West Broadway was blocked off and horns were honking. And then I saw it fall. It started slowly, and so I thought that they were intentionally taking it down. It picked up speed and then crashed.

    It feels very good to be alive.

  12. I arrived at the scene moments after it happened. Leading up to it, wind was fiercely blowing. A woman said the crew yelled for everyone to run which saved her and several other people. There is a huge crater in middle of west Broadway where part of the crane hit. A bus was parked at the light. Thank God it went fairly straight down the street or the bus would have been crushed. Saw some horrific things this morning. Feel very lucky and glad to be alive.

  13. According to news reports, they were lifting new air conditionning equipment and electric generators on to the roof of the Western Union building. Watching it the last few days from our window, it did seem unusually high.

  14. this is the area where my family and I will be staying tomorrow. so very sad and cant imagine if we were there a day sooner

  15. Here’s what’s not adding up for me: They are saying that the crane was being secured and lowered due to the winds. I buy this as traffic heading south on W. Broadway was directed to turn on Leonard when I got there right before the crane fell. However, how is it possible that I, as a pedestrian, was allowed to walk right through Worth on W. Broadway just seconds before?

    I asked a few cops if they needed info. They said I should call the precinct. The precinct took my info, but said that DOB is in charge of street closures as well as the investigation.

    If it was indeed being lowered intentionally, all of Worth should have been cleared and shut down.

    • It seems like everyone who is familiar with the cranes at 60 Hudson felt this one was remarkable. Yes, hindsight is always 20/20 but I have taken my kids to watch those cranes and never before been nervous. This one made me take note.

  16. Just another horrible day in our quaint Tribeca neighborhood.
    We have been watching the whole tragedy on our block and through the window. I saw that crane assembled 2 weeks ago. I thought it was a dangerous crane that did not belong in NYC. As they assembled it in the street, I thought it was shocking in size. .
    That building, 60 Hudson, is always having large extremely heavy generators put on its roof, with cranes’, as backup for all the telecommunications running in there. It is the telecommunications center for NYC and State Government infrastructure since 9/11. We have been complaining about the generators noise on the roof of this 1920’s Western Union building for quite a while.
    It is a tragedy that did not have to happen. That was just not another construction site. 60 Hudson is always getting a pass on their moving heavy equipment by crane up to the roof rather than an elevator or pulley system that other sites use.