Deadly Crane Accident in Midtown Manhattan Highlights Dangers of Construction Sites

One person was killed in late April in what officials are calling a “freak” crane accident at 44th Street and 2nd Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.

Officials say that 40-year-old construction worker Trevor Loftus was killed when he attempted to inspect a malfunctioning crane boom, which collapsed on the worker midway through the course of the inspection. Despite a frantic attempt to rescue the crushed worker, Loftus was later pronounced dead at the scene. He leaves behind a wife and two children.

“The victim was caught between the knuckle boom and the flatbed itself. We were able to mechanically raise the boom with our jacks and take him out,” said Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Carlsen. The Department of Buildings has begun an investigation into the accident, although City Councilman Dan Garodnick noted, “This is not a building that has had significant problems over time.”

According to an FDNY spokesperson, the accident has preliminarily been characterized as a mechanical failure, likely involving the hydraulics of the crane. The crane involved in the incident, known also as a knuckle boom, is not subject to regulation or inspection by city officials.

A stop-work order was issued on the site of the construction pending the resolution of the Department of Buildings’ investigation.

Construction Accidents on the Rise

Statistics from the Department of Buildings in New York City revealed that there were 18 construction accidents involving pedestrians in 2014 – the highest number of such incidents since 2008. Authorities have been quick to attribute this rise in accidents to the increasing amount of construction as the economy has turned around.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a construction site accident, you shouldn’t wait to speak to an attorney. Construction accidents are complicated legal cases that require handling by a skilled attorney. Call the experts at Basch and Keegan now to schedule a free consultation.

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