A practically 600-foot-tall building and construction crane came crashing under onto buildings, pedestrians and also parked cars follow me a downtown Manhattan street Friday morning, death a Harvard-trained mathematician ~ above his way to work and also injuring three various other people.

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Workers were attempting come secure the tower crane in the center of a quick but blustery snowstorm when the crane collapsed onto precious Street close to Church Street in Tribeca at about 8:25 a.m., public representative said.

Crane collapse victim David Wichs through his wife, Rebecca, in an undated on facebook photo

“When it came down, the felt favor an earthquake. Our structure rattled, shook,” Paul Capotosto, treasurer that the NYPD’s Sergeants Benevolent Association, who office is nearby, said The Post.

Officials indigenous the structures Department had actually stopped by the construction site at an early stage Thursday morning to examine the crane and also had approved an expansion to the maximum length of 565 feet, public official said.

The crawler crane — which moves on caterpillar tracks and also was installed at the site on Jan. 30 — to be at that complete length because that the an initial time when it crashed between winds topping 20 mph.

David Wichs, 38, was killed instantly when the crane pinned him come the snow-lined street, police and witnesses said.

“I confirm to watch if over there were any signs the life. There were none,” claimed Lt. Jason O’Connor, a commanding court officer in ~ a nearby courthouse who rushed end to the chaotic scene.

NYBuffPost1 via TwitterJust feet away, thomas O’Brien, 73, sustained a head injury when the crane smashed right into the roof that his black Jeep, wrecking his sun roof. Video shows that clutching his head through the crushed car.

“He was conscious and also alert, however he to be trapped,” O’Connor said, including that the masculine body was contorted within the car, pinned in by a piece of the crane’s 565-foot-long boom.

O’Brien’s daughter to be frantic as they waited for devices to pry the loose.

“She claimed she want to be v her father, but we preserved her away,” O’Connor said.

A 45-year-old new Jersey woman, Dawn Kojima, likewise suffered a head laceration and also leg injury in the crash.

A firefighter responding to the scene suffered minor injuries, public official said.

Witnesses remarked that the damages — and death toll fee — could have been much worse.

“It’s typically crowded on Worth,” stated electrician man Rizzo, 43. “It’s lucky this occurred today. If it had been a quite day, over there would have been body everywhere.”

The crane, which had actually been doing job-related on 60 Hudson St., was in the process of being lowered as winds approached the danger mark of 25 mph, mayor de Blasio said.

“No job-related was done this morning due to the fact that the crew make the decision to carry the crane under to the for sure position,” the market said.

But at some point, workers lost control, and also the crane plummeted come the ground, with its size stretching across two blocks.

“I thought they to be trying come maybe get it under in one shot, yet then the cab flipped end . . . Ns thought, ns hope there space no pedestrians under there,” recalled kris Andrinopiupous, 38, one electrician who was watching indigenous the 38th floor of his adjacent building.

The crane win several buildings on precious Street during its descent, cutting a swath that wreckage. Its huge hook crashed into an office the the brand-new York law School.

“When it landed it, was a big impact,” stated Nicholi White, 20. “There was a loud bang and the sound of alarms going off. Then every little thing got quiet. I saw the dare in half. I was in shock.”

More than 140 firefighters flooded right into the area, as numerous bystanders jumped in come help.

Capotosto said he and also two various other SBA officers rushed out of your building and also into the wreckage.

There they uncovered O’Brien trapped in his car, and also Kojima leaning against a building, blood trickling under her forehead.

Many structures in the area were evacuated, including the courthouse in ~ 71 cutting board St., and gas present were cut off along Worth Street. The FDNY and also Con Edison scanned the scene because that gas leaks every 15 minutes.

Steven HirschOfficials have yet to describe why precisely the crane capsized, but one expert explained that a 565-foot boom is devilishly tricky to lower.

“It will take hundreds of tons simply to counterbalance that boom, and also if you carry out it also quickly, it can be thrown turn off balance,” claimed James Pritchett, president of Crane specialists International, i m sorry investigates such mishaps.

The crane’s operator, Kevin Reilly, 56, has a document of 3 DWI arrests, all from the 1980s.

He was questioned by cops after ~ the collapse and submitted come a Breathalyzer test, punch a clean .000, law-enforcement sources said.

Locals stated the crane’s looming presence had actually been making castle nervous all week.

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“When girlfriend look from my office, you view this thing 40 feet up in the air, the looks really unstable,” said Peter Allen, an architect who works nearby.