Neighbors warned of swaying crane hours before fatal collapse

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TRIBECA, Manhattan —Residents and workers in TriBeCa said they were shocked when they heard the news of a crane collapse along Worth Street Friday morning, yet they were not surprised.

"I saw it swaying in the wind," Bruce Ehrmann, a Realtor who lives and works in the area, told PIX11 News.

Ehrmann was one of many who had concerns about the 565-feet long, 330-ton crane operating at 60 Hudson St. as late as Thursday night.

"I have reams of emails about the danger of that crane over the last two weeks and they basically went unresponded to," he said, referring to a number of complaints he received as a member of Community Board 1.

The ongoing project at the Hudson Street site is one of 90 major construction projects happening in the neighborhood, something Community Board 1 chair Catherine McVay Hughes said is a serious problem.

"We've been very concerned about oversight and construction coordination 24/7 in a very densely populated community and as you can tell very tall buildings," Hughes said.

"Last night, neighbors in the community had sent a photograph of concern about the crane," she said. "We know we are the eyes and ears of the neighborhood but we need the professionals to prevent tragedies like this from happening."

Construction along Hudson and Worth streets has been a hot-button issue with Community Board leaders in recent weeks.

An emergency closed-door meeting with officials at City Hall late Friday will hopefully address the concerns in the neighborhood — and hold someone accountable.

"We will find out who issued the permit for this crane which is an outrage," Ehrmann said.