New York

Stuck crane dangles load near Carnegie Hall in New York City

13,000 pound load from stalled crane safely lowered to ground

NEW YORK - A 13,000-pound concrete weight that was dangling 40 floors above the street from a suspended crane in Manhattan has been lowered to the ground.

It took hours for construction workers to lower it inch by inch on a rainy and windy afternoon.

The crane lost power around 7 a.m. Monday at the same construction site where a crane's boom collapsed and dangled dangerously during Superstorm Sandy.

This time, the crane was merely frozen with its load suspended in midair, but the threat of bad weather had officials worried. City engineers worked with the contractor to secure the site, said buildings department spokesman Tony Sclafani.

The closure of 57th Street, a major east-west thoroughfare, created gridlock in parts of Manhattan.

Construction cranes have been a source of safety worries in the city since two giant rigs collapsed within two months of each other in Manhattan in 2008, killing a total of nine people.

Those accidents spurred the resignation of the city buildings commissioner and fueled new safety measures, including hiring more inspectors and expanding training requirements and inspection checklists.

Another crane fell and killed a worker this April at a construction site for a new subway line. That rig was exempt from most city construction safety rules because it was working for a state-overseen agency that runs the subway system.

The high-rise where the crane was stalled was dubbed a "global billionaires' club" by The New York Times after nine full-floor apartments near the top were sold to billionaires. Two duplexes in the building, called One57, were being sold for more than $90 million each.

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