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Cause of World Trade Center steel beam accident under investigation

freedomtower090611_optBY BOB HOLT
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

The World Trade Center site was shaken by a severe accident on Thursday, but thankfully there were no major injuries.

The cable of a crane snapped, dropping thousands of pounds of steel beams about 40 stories, and onto an 18-wheel flatbed truck below.

“It’s a miracle nobody was killed,” steamfitter Mark Sherank, 45, said, according to the New York Daily News. Sherank was attending a safety meeting in nearby Building 4 when the beams came down. "I looked outside I saw the truck. It's a pancake now,” he added.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the accident occurred at around 10 a.m., and officials said no one was in the flatbed truck when the cable broke, sending three 62-foot-long steel beams weighing an estimated 38,000 pounds crashing onto it.

John Gallagher, spokesman for Tishman Construction, which manages the World Trade Center site, said that the company was investigating the matter in full cooperation with authorities, and the job is partially shut down pending the investigation, according to CNN.

According to an Associated Press report on the Wall Street Journal, Tishman said no one was hurt in the accident, but some reports initially said there was one minor injury.

The New York Post reported that investigators said one of the causes for the accident may have been a hydraulic failure on the crane. A source said a lot of hydraulic fluid was found near the crane.

Records say that building inspectors have investigated complaints of crane problems at the World Trade Center site in the past. In March 2011, concrete reportedly fell from Four World Trade Center onto the sidewalk on Liberty Street and just missed hitting people on the street.

The World Trade Center website says the 72-story building is scheduled to open in late 2013.

 

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