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LIC crane picked up too large load: DOB

The city Department of Buildings said the crane that collapsed in Long Island City was trying to pick up twice the amount of weight for which it was intended. AP Photo/John Minchillo
TimesLedger Newspapers

The crane on a construction site in Long Island City that collapsed and hurt seven workers last week had been carrying more than twice the weight it should have, the city Department of Buildings said.

The site, at 46-10 Center Blvd., has been issued a stop-work order for crane operations as further investigations are completed, the DOB said.

“As a result of our preliminary investigation, it appears that the operator was attempting to lift a load of 23,900 pounds — more than double the weight capacity for this particular crane,” the DOB said.

The 15-story mobile boom crane fell during the afternoon of Jan. 9 and injured seven workers, five of whom were sent to Elmhurst Hospital Center and two of whom were sent to Weill Cornell Medical Center. The accident occurred behind the neighborhood’s iconic Pepsi-Cola sign.

Luxury residential developer TF Cornerstone has been constructing the site to become part of its East Coast Long Island City complex. The Maspeth-based New York Crane & Equipment Corp. leased the site to the subcontractors for the work, Cross Country Construction in Elmsford, N.Y.

The DOB said the crane operator at the time was Paul Greer and that his Hoist Machine Operator Class-B license has been suspended.

“The preliminary investigation also shows that the operator was unable to see the materials being lifted and was attempting to lift those materials outside of the approved loading zone,” the DOB said.

The investigation into the incident was still ongoing.

New York Crane is owned by James Lomma. In 2008, he was charged with manslaughter related to a 2008 crane collapse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. He was acquitted of the charges in 2012.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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