1 killed, 3 injured after massive crane crashes onto cars

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Crane Collapse in Manhattan Kills One, Injures Three

LOWER MANHATTAN (WPIX) -- A massive crane collapsed onto a row of cars in TriBeCa Friday morning, killing one person and injuring three others.

Reports of the fallen crane at 40 Worth St., near Church Street, came in at 8:24 a.m. The collapse happened at the height of the snowy morning commute in lower Manhattan. The crane also damaged four buildings, including the New York Law building, as it smashed down onto the narrow TriBeCa street.

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1 killed, 3 injured after massive crane crashes onto cars
Debris and a mangled crane lie in the street in New Yorkâs Tribeca neighborhood in Lower Manhattan following a deadly collapse on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Colleen Long)
Emergency personnel work at the scene of a fatal crane collapse in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan in New York on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
A collapsed crane lies on the street on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in New York. The crane landed across an intersection and stretched much of a block in the Tribeca neighborhood, about 10 blocks north of the World Trade Center. There was damage to the roof of a nearby building, and debris littered the street. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
In this photo provided by the FDNY, debris and a mangled crane lie in the street in New Yorkâs Tribeca neighborhood following a deadly collapse on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. (FDNY via AP)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 05: Emergency workers converge at the scene of a collapsed crane in a roadway in lower Manhattan Friday morning on February 5, 2016 in New York City. The accident killed at least one person andÃinjured at least two the New York City Fire Department said. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
This photo courtesy of Paul Leys shows a crane collapse in Lower Manhattan on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 in New York. The accident was reported around early Friday in the Tribeca neighborhood. The crane landed across several parked cars, smashing their roofs. (Paul Leys via AP) NO SALES
The cabin of a collapsed crane, background left, lies upside down with its treads in the air on Worth St. in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan in New York on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Emergency personnel work at the scene of a fatal crane collapse in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan in New York on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
In this photo provided by the FDNY, firefighters respond to the scene of a crane collapse on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. The crane landed across an intersection and stretched much of a block in the Tribeca neighborhood, about 10 blocks north of the World Trade Center. (FDNY via AP) (FDNY via AP)
Emergency workers gather at the scene of a crane collapse in the Tribeca section of Manhattan in New York on Friday, Feb.5, 2016. The crane landed across several parked cars, smashing their roofs.(AP Photo/Colleen Long))
The cabin of a collapsed crane lies upside down with its treads in the air on Worth St. in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan in New York on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Debris and a mangled crane lie in the street in New Yorkâs Tribeca neighborhood in Lower Manhattan following a deadly collapse on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Colleen Long)
Emergency workers gather at the scene of a crane collapse in the Tribeca section of Manhattan in New York on Friday, Feb.5, 2016. The crane landed across several parked cars, smashing their roofs.(AP Photo/Colleen Long)
Photo courtesy: WPIX
Photo courtesy: WPIX
Photo courtesy: WPIX
#FDNY on scene of crane collapse at 40 Worth St & W Bdwy in Manhattan. 1 fatality confirmed, 2 serious https://t.co/M7NP9heiyq
@Traffic4NY a crane fell on west broadway & worth St in TriBeCa the block is closed down https://t.co/Ipn7WHk3Ce
#BREAKING video of TriBeCa #cranecollapse on 40 Worth St. #pix11news @breaking911 https://t.co/ETuQQeAM9d
Due to a construction accident, expect traffic delays & emergency personnel near West Broadway and Worth St in Manhattan.
Crane falls in TriBeCa: Authorities say at least 1 trapped in car. https://t.co/TQ7iEciMN2 (Photo: Sean Campbell) https://t.co/9AgQnKKrpy
Photo courtesy: WABC
Photo courtesy: WABC
Photo courtesy: WPIX
Photo courtesy: WPIX
Photo courtesy: WPIX
Photo courtesy: WPIX
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Photo courtesy: WPIX
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David Wichs, 38, of the Upper West Side, was walking down Worth Street when the crane killed him. Three others were injured by the falling debris.

"I was walking my children to school when we heard a noise, it sounded like an earthquake," a woman told PIX11.

"We had seen the crane the night before as kind of dangling already," said the witness, whose worries prompted her to avoid the block she normally takes with her kids in the morning. "I'm not lucky, I am aware. I look at things. I look up."

The two seriously injured people were rushed to New York Presbyterian Hospital and Bellevue Hospital, respectively. Another person suffered minor injuries.

"I lost it, I absolutely lost it," said witness Sara Holoubek, on her reaction to the collapse. She had an incredibly close call.

Jaime Gee, who works on the corner of Worth Street and Broadway, said: "It looked scary from day one. Watching them hauling the cooling towers with these tiny cables was nerve wrecking [sic]. It was just a matter of time before it came down."

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NYC Mayor: Crane Was Inspected Day Before Deadly Collapse

"This was a company who was putting their crane into a secure position the way we would have wanted them to," said Mayor de Blasio, who noted that the safety protocol had been mandated after two deadly crane collapses in 2008.

The Office of Emergency Management tweeted to expect traffic due to a "construction accident."

When it fell, the crane was being placed in a safe position as a precaution because of high winds, according to Mayor Bill de Bill Blasio. The crane belongs to the Bay Crane company but was being operated by Galasso, a construction company based in Maspeth.

"This was a company who was putting their crane into a secure position the way we would have wanted them to," said de Blasio, who noted that the safety protocol had been mandated after two deadly crane collapses in 2008.

PIX11 reached out to a representative of Bay Crane Friday morning, who said no immediate statement. The company, which was founded in 1939, has offices in Long Island City as well as Hicksville, on Long Island.

The type of crane is a crawler, and had a boom length of 565 feet -- the maximum allowed, and a capacity of 330 tons. The company had recently asked for an extension in order to access the rooftops, according to city officials.

WATCH: RAW FOOTAGE OF THE CRANE FALLING:

Deadly Crane Collapses, Hits Busy NYC Streets

At 6:20 a.m. Thursday, Department of Buildings representatives inspected the crane. Workers were using the crane to replace generators and air conditioning units at 60 Hudson St., the former Western Union Building.​

According to a Con Edison spokesperson, crews responded to reports of a gas odor just before 9 a.m.

A Con Edison representative said they hadn't found any leaks inside the buildings, but had isolated a pipe below street level. They were at the scene, "sweeping" affected buildings on Worth Street every 15 minutes. The impact of the falling crane also broke a water main. They expect the leaks will be resolved by early afternoon.

The collapse has prompted the closures of Worth Street between Church and Hudson streets, Greenwich Street at Battery Place and West Broadway at Canal Street. Subway service also was impacted in the neighborhood.

De Blasio warned residents and people working near the scene that access to the buildings would likely be disrupted for the next several days as the investigation and repairs continue.

Residents or workers in the area may enter the buildings "at the appropriate time" with the escort of the NYPD, de Blasio said.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

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