2 Cranes Atop High-Rises Collapse as Irma Lashes Miami

on Sep10

10 September 2017 | 7:04 pm

At least two construction cranes collapsed onto buildings in downtown Miami as Hurricane Irma brought deadly winds into South Florida on Sunday.

One crane collapsed on top of a high rise under construction at 300 Biscayne Boulevard, City of Miami officials tweeted.

City officials said they were using geo-fencing, a 911 communication system, as well as social media, to contact residents in the area. Anyone in a building in the area of Northeast 3rd Street and Biscayne Boulevard was urged to stay in the building but away from any wall or window facing the crane.

The city has contacted the contractor and OSHA, and said building officials will assist OSHA “in any way possible.”

A second crane collapse was later reported at a building under construction on Northeast 30th Terrace.

Before the storm, the city of Miami had warned of the dangers of the tower cranes dotting the Miami skyline — some 20 to 25 across the city.

The cranes are designed to withstand winds of up to 145 mph. Officials urged anyone living near one to evacuate if Irma hit as a Category 5 hurricane.

A crane’s arm is not tied down but remains loose, the deputy director of the Building Department, Maurice Pons, had said. And its heavy counterbalance could cause severe damage in the event of a collapse.

Construction sites throughout the city were being locked down ahead of Irma.

Published 5 hours ago | Updated 1 minute ago

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