(AFP) – Mar 15, 2008
NEW YORK (AFP) — A towering construction crane crashed onto a New York residential building on Saturday, killing at least four people and injuring four others, US media reported.
Some remained trapped inside the Manhattan building after the massive white crane struck it in the early afternoon, NY1 News television and The New York Times reported online.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer told reporters that residents had complained of security violations at the construction site since January.
"We lost four persons, four innocent victims on a sunny afternoon. Enough is enough," the elected official said.
New York police chief Raymond Kelly was at the scene of the accident while Mayor Michael Bloomberg was on his way there.
People at the scene told NY1 that they heard a loud explosion, smelled a strong gas odor and saw a thick yellow dust cloud.
"People were shouting: run, run!" a woman living near the building told the station.
The crane split in half at a construction site of a 25-story building on East 51st Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan's Upper East Side, NY1 reported.
A small building was crushed while the crane also struck the top corner of another, taller building, television images showed.
Huge chunks of rubble were scattered all over the site, while the accident left a BMW crushed and several other cars damaged. Rescuers were seen removing an injured person on a stretcher.
Authorities blocked neighborhood streets while buses used detours and subway stations closed after the incident.
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