Storm destroys New York tower crane

Tower crane on luxury high rise destroyed by Hurricane Sandy

A photo shows the crumpled boom of the crane.
A photo shows the crumpled boom of the crane.

The major storm battering the East Coast of the United States has badly damaged a tower crane tied to a building under construction described as "a billionaires' haven". 

High wind speeds were recorded in New York City as Hurricane Sandy hit the coast, and photos show the luffing crane with a badly bent boom. According to reports, the police have established a cordon and the streets below are closed, due to fears that the crane may fall down completely.

According to eyewitness reports, a number of steel poles fell from the crane as the boom crumpled to the streets below.

The stormy conditions make it almost impossible to consider bringing down the crane.

The crane is on the One57 luxury tower building, which rises 90 storeys and 306 metres high, and when finished will offer well-heeled buyers views over Manhattan's Central Park.

A statement issued by Lend Lease, the owners of the crane, said that emergency workers are keeping people away should the crane collapse further.

“NYC emergency personnel are on site working to get people away from any potential impact area should any additional failure take place,” said the statement.

"The hurricane storm winds have pushed the crane boom over the cab section of the high rise crane at One 57th Street.”

According to a report in the New York Daily News, there have been a number of safety issues with the crane in recent weeks and months, which resulted in a number of visits by city inspectors.

These included hydraulic fluid leaks throughout the crane, and defects in the wires rigging the boom.

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