Construction crane collapses in downtown Miami

Lucy Bush
September 11, 2017

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

Tower cranes can rise hundreds of feet into the air on steel frameworks, and are used to lift steel, concrete, heavy construction equipment and other building materials.

There were no immediate reports of any damage or injuries. There are about 20 to 25 construction cranes in the city, according to city officials.

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Irma changed course in recent days, making landfall about 100 miles southwest on Cudjoe Key and leaving the southwest corner of the state preparing for the worst. The building was still in tact despite the crane's failure. But Irma is such a massive storm that tropical- and hurricane-force winds were lashing South Florida throughout Sunday.

More than two dozen cranes hang over residents' heads with horizontal arms of the tall tower devices hanging loose as they could not be tied down or moved in preparation for Irma.

City officials said they were using geo-fencing, a 911 communication system, as well as social media, to contact residents in the area. "We will have a crew over to secure the crane as soon as the weather permits".

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The issue, Alfonso said, is that the cranes take time to be dismantled, and the process also calls for blocking traffic on city streets.

"Overall, we're faring fairly well considering what was coming", he said.

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