Equipment Being Lifted by Crane Falls; 10 Injured

NEW YORK (AP) -
Firefighters stand Sunday near the damaged facade of 261 Madison Ave. after a piece of equipment being lifted by a crane broke free and fell 28 stories to the sidewalk below. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Firefighters stand Sunday near the damaged facade of 261 Madison Ave. after a piece of equipment being lifted by a crane broke free and fell 28 stories to the sidewalk below. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

A piece of mechanical equipment being lifted by a crane at a Manhattan office building broke free Sunday morning and fell about 28 stories to the sidewalk below, with the falling debris causing minor injuries to 10 people, officials said.

Two of the injured were construction workers, while the others were pedestrians and occupants of passing cars, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Police officers who responded to the high-rise building in Midtown East found that the crane’s payload had broken free as it was heading to the top of the building. It fell to the sidewalk, shearing the side of the building along the way. The building is wider at the base and narrows at the higher floors.

De Blasio, speaking to reporters on Madison Avenue a block from the accident, called it “obviously, a very serious incident.”

“Thank G-d, this incident occurred at an hour of the day on a weekend when there were not too many people around,” he said.