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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
08-01
March 17, 2008

NYC OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT (OEM) PROVIDES UPDATE ON CITY’S RESPONSE TO EAST SIDE CRANE COLLAPSE

Round the clock effort continues, East 56th through East 53rd Streets, previously closed to cross-town traffic, have now been completely reopened

Second Avenue expected to partially reopen to traffic later today
 
Family Assistance Center has relocated to Saint Peter’s Church at 619 Lexington Avenue

The New York City Office of Emergency Management continues to coordinate the City’s response to the crane collapse on Manhattan’s East Side. OEM, along with the Department of Buildings (DOB), Fire Department (FDNY), Police Department (NYPD), Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit (CAU), American Red Cross in Greater New York, the Salvation Army and ConEdison are all operating on scene. Since the collapse, agencies have been working around the clock to search for victims, remove debris and dismantle the damaged crane.

Street closures remain necessary to accommodate rescue and recovery operations. The City has moved to reduce closures as safety permits. East 56th through East 53rd Streets, previously closed to cross-town traffic, have now been completely reopened. The City expects to partially reopen Second Avenue to traffic later today. Streets that remain closed include:

  • Second Avenue between East 57th and East 48th Streets
  • East 52nd through East 48th Streets between First Avenue and Second Avenue

Remedial operations to secure the site continue in two primary locations. At 305 East 50th Street, DOB forensic engineers, crane experts, and inspectors continue to supervise the removal of the section of the crane’s mast that landed on top of the 4-story building at 305 East 50th Street. As of early Monday, seven of the 10 pieces of the mast have been removed.

At 300 East 51st Street, the other work site, two mobile cranes, positioned at East 51st Street and 2nd Avenue, have lowered the crane’s boom to the street level. Once the crane’s boom was lowered, workers began dissembling into parts. This work was allowed to proceed after the bolts on the crane’s mast were thoroughly analyzed by engineers and found to be intact. Operations will continue as the crane’s mast is removed from the site and the debris pile is stabilized Some of these parts will be secured by the NYPD and sent to a testing laboratory for analysis as part of DOB’s forensic investigation.

DOB has issued vacate orders for nearly 300 residential units in 17 buildings. All of the buildings remain vacated at this time. DOB will lift the vacate orders as soon as it is safe to do so. The Buildings Department will be able to better assess when tenants can safely return to their homes once more sections of crane and debris have been removed from site. Debris removal on the sidewalk in front of 305 East 50th Street has begun.

The 17 vacated buildings are:

  • 01 East 50th Street / 944 2nd Avenue. This is a 6-story residential building with 20 dwelling units and commercial use at the street level.
  • 306 East 50th Street. This is a 3-story mixed-use building with 3 dwelling units and commercial use at the street level.
  • 308 East 50th Street. This is a 5-story residential building with 3 dwelling units.
  • 310 East 50th Street.  This is a 3-story residential building with 1 dwelling unit.
  • 311 East 50th Street. This is a 14-story residential building with 111 dwelling units.
  • 300 East 51st Street / 956 2nd Avenue. This is a 19-story mixed use building with 119 dwelling units and commercial use at the street level.
  • 306 East 51st Street.  This is a 4-story residential building with 1 dwelling unit.
  • 308 East 51st Street.  This is a 5-story residential building with 3 dwelling units.
  • 310 East 51st Street. This is a 5-story residential building with 5 dwelling units.
  • 311 East 51st street.  This is a 4-story residential building with 7 dwelling units.
  • 312 East 51st Street. This is a 5-story residential building with 5 dwelling units.
  • 314 East 51st Street. This is a 5-story residential building with 5 dwelling units.
  • 318 East 51st Street. This is a 3-story residential building with 1 dwelling unit.
  • 320 East 51st Street. This is a 2-story residential building with 1 dwelling unit.
  • 322 East 51st Street. This is a 3-story residential building with 2 dwelling units.
  • 324 East 51st Street. This is a 1-story residential building with 2 dwelling units.
  • 954 2nd Avenue.  This is a 4-story mixed-use building with 6 residential units and commercial space at the street level.

Buildings forensic engineers have confirmed at least 7 buildings sustained damage during the accident:

  • 300 East 51st Street / 956 2nd Avenue. This is a 19-story mixed use building with 119 dwelling units and commercial use at the street level. A small portion of the 13th and 14th (top floors) at the north east corner of the building have collapsed where the crane mast came in contact with the building.
  • 301 East 50th Street / 944 2nd Avenue.  This is a 6-story residential building with 20 dwelling units and commercial use at the street level. Portions of the roof and top two floors have collapsed due to the crane mast hitting this building. 
  • 305 East 50th Street. This was a 4-story mixed-use building with 4 dwelling units and commercial use at the street level. This building has completely collapsed.   
  • 306 East 50th Street. This is a 3-story mixed-use building with 3 dwelling units. A steel beam from the crane penetrated this building and caused damage to the middle of the building.
  • 308 East 50th Street. This is a 5-story residential building with 3 dwelling units. The same steel beam that damaged 306 East 50th Street from the crane penetrated this building and caused damage to the side the building. 
  • 311 East 50th Street. This is a 14-story residential building with 111 dwelling units. There are some small holes in the western foundation wall which is adjacent to 305 East 50th Street which are allowing water to seep into basement. At this time, DOB inspectors have not noted any structural damage to this building.
  • 954 2nd Avenue.  This is a 4-story mixed-use building with 6 residential units and commercial space at the street level.  This rear of this building sustained damaged.

OEM, CAU and the American Red Cross in Greater New York set up a Family Assistance Center immediately after the collapse. Evacuated residents can visit the center to register with the Red Cross, receive temporary shelter and speak with DOB personnel. The center was previously at the High School for Arts and Design, but has relocated to Saint Peter’s Church at 619 Lexington Avenue. Hours of operation are from 9:00am to 9:00pm. To date, 113 residents have been seen at the center.

OEM and CAU worked with the NYPD, FDNY and Red Cross to rescue several pets from vacated apartments on Sunday. When residents registered at the Family Assistance Center, a list was compiled of trapped pets. As soon as the safety of emergency personnel could be assured, rescues were made.
 
Gas, electric, and water service has been interrupted to several properties because of the collapse. Service restoration remains a priority and will be done as soon as utility crews are allowed safe access to the collapse area.

The City of New York will remain on scene until recovery operations are completed. Updates on road closures, towed vehicles and vacated residential units will continue to be made available through 311.


CONTACT: Andrew Troisi (OEM)  (718) 422-4888