A little before 2:20 p.m. on Wednesday, Vincent Bruno, a UPS driver in Long Island City, heard an “un-normal” boom and then saw at least a dozen workers with hard hats running from the TF Cornerstone waterfront construction site behind the iconic Pepsi Cola sign.
A 300-foot red crane had collapsed at 46th Avenue and Center Boulevard, trapping several people and injuring seven, according to the fire department.
All workers were accounted for, according to Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside).The crane operator is being interviewed.
Bruno called 911. An emergency response team arrived about five minutes later, he said.
“I saw one guy taken out on a stretcher ... a couple broken bones,” Bruno said. “The guy was all wrapped up and wasn’t really saying anything.”
An employee from a building close by said one man with a broken arm was loaded into an ambulance at about 2:30 p.m. Construction worker Preston White spoke to reporters after the incident.
While holding back tears he said it was his first day and he immediately called his family to say he loved them.
The investigation is ongoing, Van Bramer said.
About two months ago, Hurricane Sandy collapsed a crane at a 90-story skyscraper on West 57th Street in Manhattan. No one was injured, but passersby and residents were terrified by the dangling crane.
— additional reporting by Maria Fitzsimons