On Sunday, the same day these new measures were announced, family and friends gathered about five miles from where the crane collapsed to mourn David Wichs, 38, who was killed when the equipment tumbled to the street.
“He was so generous, always wanted to take care of everyone,” Daniel Wichs, his younger brother, said at the funeral service, according to the New York Daily News. “We loved David so much. He’ll live in our hearts forever.”
Wichs died and three other people were injured when the crane fell onto Worth Street in the Tribeca neighborhood, crushing cars and sending debris scattering, authorities said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said it was “something of a miracle” that more people were not injured or killed, which he attributed to what the construction crew was doing when the incident occurred before 8:30 a.m. Friday. The crane fell when it was being secured as winds increased, and workers were directing pedestrians and drivers away from the street, the mayor said.
“Obviously in the middle of rush hour, there would have been more people and more vehicles on the street,” de Blasio (D) said during a news conference Sunday. “So thank God the crew did exactly what they were supposed to do.”
The incident was recorded by a construction worker in a nearby building, who documented the crawler crane’s descent onto the street:
The collapse is being investigated by the city’s police and buildings departments, and de Blasio said it could take weeks or months to unfold. He also said some information could be released later this month. “We do not know the specific cause,” de Blasio said Sunday.
Even without knowing why the crane fell, de Blasio said officials still wanted to take steps in response to the collapse. He announced a series of new restrictions that would lower the wind speed threshold needed for crews to secure cranes, increase protection for pedestrians on sidewalks and create more alerts for people in the area when cranes are being moved.
“Friday’s incident obviously is a warning that we take very seriously,” de Blasio said. While he said he values the construction boom in the city, de Blasio also added that “there’s no building that is worth a person’s life.”
After the collapse Friday, de Blasio ordered the 429 cranes in the city that could have been operated Friday to be secured due to the wind.
In the wake of the collapse, some streets remain closed, and the gas has been shut off in many buildings while fire officials and utility workers swept buildings to check gas levels.
De Blasio also said there may be more new safety changes ahead. A task force will also look at the collapse and, by May, determine if other safety changes are needed, de Blasio said.