Queens crane collapse investigation - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

NYC suspends license of operator of fallen crane

Posted: Updated:

NEW YORK (AP) -- The operator of a crane that collapsed at a New York City construction site was trying to lift a load more than twice as heavy as the crane's capacity in a place where it shouldn't have been, officials said Thursday.

The Department of Buildings suspended Paul Geer's crane operator license following a preliminary investigation into the collapse that injured seven construction workers Wednesday afternoon in Queens.

The agency said Geer was trying to lift a load of close to 24,000 pounds when its 170-foot-long boom fell onto metal scaffolding and the wooden framework that made up the first floor of what will be a 25-story apartment building. None of the injuries were life-threatening.

Buildings Commissioner Robert Limandri also said Geer couldn't see what was being lifted by the crane, and was trying to move the materials outside of an approved zone.

A telephone number for Geer could not be found. TF Cornerstone, the project's main contractor, did not return a call seeking comment.

The construction site remains closed.

The equipment was leased from New York Crane and Equipment Corp. by a subcontractor for TF Cornerstone.

Construction cranes have been a source of safety concerns since two giant rigs collapsed in Manhattan in 2008, killing a total of nine people. One of those was owned by New York Crane. Owner James Lomma was tried and acquitted on manslaughter charges stemming from that incident, which killed two workers.

The Empire State Development Corp., which is overseeing the project, said work on the tower started in November. It is the last residential building at the Queens West development, located behind the landmark neon "Pepsi-Cola" sign near the East River waterfront. The building is slated to be completed in early 2014 but city officials could not say how long work will be shut down.

Engineers will examine the history of the crane involved in Wednesday's collapse as part of the investigation, including the equipment's maintenance and operation records.

The 2008 accidents led to new safety measures, including hiring more inspectors and expanding training requirements and inspection checklists.

  • Queens NewsQueens NewsMore>>

  • Security stepped up for Electric Zoo Festival

    Security stepped up for Electric Zoo Festival

    Friday, August 29 2014 8:34 AM EDT2014-08-29 12:34:04 GMT
    Festival goers to one of the most popular events of the summer in New York City will see major changes this weekend.  The Electric Zoo festival featuring headliner David Guetta takes place Saturday and Sunday on Randall's Island. Organizers are expecting 45,000 people, daily. Last year's party was cut short after the deaths of  Olivia Rotundo, 20, of Providence, R.I. and Jeffrey Russ, 23, of Rochester, N.Y. 
    Festival goers to one of the most popular events of the summer in New York City will see major changes this weekend.  The Electric Zoo festival featuring headliner David Guetta takes place Saturday and Sunday on Randall's Island. Organizers are expecting 45,000 people, daily. Last year's party was cut short after the deaths of  Olivia Rotundo, 20, of Providence, R.I. and Jeffrey Russ, 23, of Rochester, N.Y. 
  • Arrest made in attack of mother, children

    Arrest made in attack of mother, children

    Friday, August 29 2014 6:18 AM EDT2014-08-29 10:18:52 GMT
    The NYPD arrested a suspect in the attempted sexual assault of a mother in front of her three children.  Police say they busted Pedro Vargas, 48, of Yonkers on Thursday.  Chilling surveillance video released by cops showed a  man pretending to be a livery cab driver, pulling the woman out of a car, elbowing her five-year-old child in the face and tossing her three-year-old child onto a sidewalk in Queens.
    The NYPD arrested a suspect in the attempted sexual assault of a mother in front of her three children.  Police say they busted Pedro Vargas, 48, of Yonkers on Thursday.  Chilling surveillance video released by cops showed a  man pretending to be a livery cab driver, pulling the woman out of a car, elbowing her five-year-old child in the face and tossing her three-year-old child onto a sidewalk in Queens.
  • Mayor pushes back pre-k concerns

    Mayor pushes back pre-k concerns

    Thursday, August 28 2014 10:16 PM EDT2014-08-29 02:16:46 GMT
    Mayor Bill de Blasio, educators and city leaders gathered at p.s. 307 in Brooklyn on Thursday to talk with pride about more than 50,000 kids who have enrolled in pre-kindergarten. Universal full-day pre-k was a platform of his campaign when he ran for mayor.Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina also feels the pre-k program is ready for launch.
    Mayor Bill de Blasio, educators and city leaders gathered at p.s. 307 in Brooklyn on Thursday to talk with pride about more than 50,000 kids who have enrolled in pre-kindergarten. Universal full-day pre-k was a platform of his campaign when he ran for mayor.Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina also feels the pre-k program is ready for launch.
Powered by WorldNow

WTXF-TV
330 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2796

Phone: (215) 925-2929
Fax: (215) 982-5494

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices