Crane Pain

1 Worker Killed in Latest Crane Collapse at MTA Construction Site

A construction worker from New Jersey was killed and four others were injured after two pieces of a crawler crane broke off and fell last night at the MTA’s construction site for its 7 Train expansion project, according to reports.

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The aftermath of the last night's crane collapse (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The accident happened at 7:20 p.m. last night when the 40-foot and 80-foot sections of the Manitowoc 4100 crawler crane’s 170-foot boom snapped, sending pieces to crash down.

The crane, which was situated 60-feet below ground level at the construction site, was part of the MTA’s massive No. 7 extension development on 34th Street, just near the Hudson Yards project.

Workers had to be extricated from a hole in the ground following the crane’s collapse, which complicated the FDNY’s rescue efforts.

Michael Simmermeyer, 30, of Burlington, N.J., a construction worker who was working on the site at the time of the accident, was taken to Bellevue Hospital in cardiac arrest and was later pronounced dead. A 48-year-old man was also take to Bellevue Hospital to be treated for a broken leg.

The MTA’s 7-train expansion project had entered its final phase last September, DNA Info reports. The $2 billion project is expected to be finished by 2013.

The agency released a statement immediately following the accident, saying that it will “work together with all proper authorities to conduct a thorough investigation on the circumstances behind this unfortunate incident.”

“On behalf of the entire MTA, we pray for the recovery of the workers injured as a result of this tragic accident tonight,” the MTA added.

This is the latest construction crane accident to hit New York City in recent months.

In February, a TG-1900 tower crane working on 4 World Trade Center suddenly dropped its load of steel beams, sending it crashing to the ground. There were no fatalities in the accident. The following month, the city Department of Buildings demanded all construction crane operators to lighten its load when in operation.

Also last month, a crane that was being towed on a barge by a tugboat accidentally knocked into scaffolding on the underside of the Brooklyn Bridge. No one was injured during that incident.

drosen@observer.com