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Crane Collapse Stands Apart from Past Accidents

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The death toll from Saturday's crane collapse is now at seven, making it the worst such accident in the city's recent history.

The circumstances behind the collapse buck the trend of most fatal construction accidents.

WNYC's Matthew Schuerman has more.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that most construction fatalities in New York City involve non-union workers for whom language and immigration status were complicating circumstances.

But none of those factors appear to apply to the East Side construction site where a crane fell Saturday afternoon.

A couple of the men who died had fathers who worked in the construction industry. The crew included a licensed master rigger, in accordance with a new safety requirement enacted last summer. He's now in the hospital.

OSHA and the Buildings Department are undertaking separate investigations to determine the cause of the accident.

In the meantime, city inspectors will embark on a sweep of all crane sites later this week to ensure compliance with building codes.

For WNYC, I'm Matthew Schuerman.

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