Two construction workers and eight pedestrians suffered injuries Sunday morning when a crane hoisting a 4-ton air conditioning unit to the top of a Madison Avenue office building dropped its load onto the street below.
The injuries were caused by falling debris after a cable reportedly snapped and the HVAC unit slipped from the crane’s grip just before 11 a.m. The device rappelled off of the side of the building several times before plummeting 28 stories to the street, according to witnesses.
At a press conference shortly after the accident, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city would investigate the cause of the accident. "Thank God this incident occurred at an hour of the day on a weekend when there weren't too many people around," he said.
This accident is the latest in a string of construction-site mishaps that have injured or killed bystanders.
Data from the city Department of Buildings has revealed that a passerby is injured in a construction accident in the city once a month on average, according to a Wall Street Journal report in April after a pedestrian was killed by a windborne piece of a job-site fence.
Last year, 22 bystanders were hurt in 18 construction accidents — marking the greatest number of non-construction worker accidents involving job sites since the department began tracking them in 2008.