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Crane collapses in Manhattan as Hurrican Sandy approaches

posted 29 Oct 2012, 16:37 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 29 Oct 2012, 16:37 ]

A partial crane collapse in midtown Manhattan prompts evacuations nearby.

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORKUNITED STATES (OCTOBER 29, 2012) (REUTERS) -  New York City evacuated neighbors of a 90-story super luxury apartment building under construction after its crane partially collapsed in high winds, prompting fears the entire rig could crash to the ground.

With the city bracing for Hurricane Sandy, due to make landfall one state to the south inNew Jersey later on Monday (October 29), the upper arm of the crane dangled over the street near Central Park from what would be New York City's tallest residential building.

Passers-by stared in amazement and apprehension while some stopped to take pictures of the building that will feature $90 million (USD) duplexes.

Firefighters closed streets for three blocks surrounding the site, had evacuated three buildings and were preparing to evacuate more, a fire department spokesman said.

"Due to a crane collapse at 157 West 57th Street in Manhattan, all occupants of buildings on West 57th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues must immediately move to the lower floors of your building and make contact with your building safety representative," city officials said in an e-mail alert.

"Citizens are advised to avoid this area," it said.

The building known as One 57 and designed by Christian de Portzamparc has been climbing into the Manhattan skyline, where at 1,004 feet (306 meters) it will tower over other buildings near Columbus Circle at the southwest corner of Central Park.

Ninety-two ultra-luxury condominiums will sit atop five-star Park Hyatt hotel.

Prices start at $16.75 million and two duplexes were under contract for more than $90 million each, The New York Times reported last month, citing the president of the building's developer, Extell Development Company.

Extell did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday.