Construction crane collapses in downtown Miami

11 September, 2017, 00:36 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Video by Kevin Scharfenberg‏, NWS                      Kevin Scharfenberg‏ NWS Miami

One of two dozen construction cranes looming over the skyline in downtown Miami collapsed atop a high-rise in Irma's winds.

City Manager Daniel Alfonso said in both cases, the most risky part of the crane - the heavy counter-balance that keeps the cranes balanced - fell straight into the construction sites.

City officials have told people to leave if they live in a path of these cranes.

No injuries have been reported.

"It takes five to six days per crane, and they can be up to 900 feet tall and include 10,000-pound counterweights", WLRN reports.

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Comparing a storm with the lightest hurricane winds of 74 miles per hour to a hurricane with 148-mph winds, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says, "The 148 miles per hour hurricane (a category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale) may produce - on average - up to 250 times the damage of a minimal category 1 hurricane". The building was still in tact despite the crane's failure.

"The luffing crane can not rotate like a weather vane", Whiteman said.

County officials had already ordered evacuations Wednesday for Miami Beach and the other barrier islands.

Only a few contractors are certified to remove those cranes, and they would not have had enough time to move them out of harm's way even if they all were working at the same time in Miami to prepare for Irma, he said. He said videos of the collapse posted on social media showed a luffing crane, which lacks a horizontal arm and does not spin.

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